Dune House Cozy Mystery Boxed Set: Books 1 – 4

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Oh boy, another Cindy Bell series. Can you tell that I like her little fluff novels yet?

Suzie gets a notice that her uncle passed away a few weeks prior, and he had bequeathed his house/bed and breakfast to her. Suzie, ever being the adventurous one, along with her friend Mary, pack up to go check out the house. Quickly, as soon as she arrives, she starts to notice something about her uncle’s death doesn’t quite add up. After some poking around and meeting her cousin, Jason, her investigative journalism senses were tingling. She quickly finds out that not all is as it seems in the small town.

I really like this book. Suzie and Marie were given a great background to work with. They are both older, so they aren’t spring chickens. We do meet a few of the townsfolk, however, this book was really focused on Jason, Suzie and Marie. Though at first Jason seems a little standoff-ish, but we quickly find out what the reason behind that was. I enjoyed Suzie as a character and her desire for the truth is quite nice. I enjoyed seeing her try to get to the bottom of it. We also get to see her future love interest in this book, however, only for like a second.

The book is a good beginning to a series. I really enjoyed this one, and I hope it will be like her other series.

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The girls are finally getting used to living in Garber. At a local fair, they find a beautiful artwork that was painted by a local artist before her suicide. After moving the painting from one frame to another, they find a map leading to a potential location. Suzie, being her, starts to dig into the artist’s past and decides to follow the map. After reaching out to Paul for a lift, the group quickly realize that they might have actually gotten into more than the fun little treasure hunt that they were expecting.

I really enjoyed this mystery. When characters look into a death from the past, and no new bodies pop up it’s a lot more interesting than most stories to me. I enjoyed how while Suzie was looking into the past death, she discovers some information about the town and its history. It helps build the environment and the feeling around the town, it’s especially interesting when it’s at the beginning of a new series.

The characters of Suzie and Mary are expanding really nicely. Bell did add a lot of details into the first book of this series, however, they are still developing. Paul is still an enigma in this book, however, I can see him becoming Suzie’s boyfriend as that is what the author is edging towards. Paul doesn’t have much backstory as of yet, which will hopefully be rectified in later books.

Overall, this was a very interesting book.

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After all of Suzie and Mary’s hard work, the Dune house is finally open to the public. Their first-weekend open seems to be going great until the plumber that they hired from one town over is found dead under the house. Normally there would be a lot of suspects, but there were only 4 guests in residence there is only a limited suspect pool and Suzie has her eye on two of the guests.

This was a slightly different take on the one room mystery as it encompasses the entire house. I did really enjoy the way that Jason handles Suzie in this book, after all, she is the standard cozy novel heroin and doesn’t know how to deal with interrogations as that is not their job. The mystery was interesting and actually allowed us to find out a little more about the town in this book. The history of the little town is quite nice and interesting.

I enjoyed the growth that Suzie goes through in this book, however, Mary was the one that really shines in this story. After all the years having to take care of her children, it makes her very good at managing customers at the inn. The friendship between Suzie and Mary is very light and fun, they rely on each other but can also have a good laugh.

I enjoyed this book, and have high hopes for the series.

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Suzie and Paul are enjoying each other’s company and enjoy getting to know each other. However, when a fishing expedition turns deadly and Paul goes missing Suzie starts to freak out. The police start assuming that Paul had something to do with the murder, and Suzie is just worried that something will happen to Paul next. Now it’s a raced against the clock for Suzie to follow Paul’s clues and find him, hopefully, alive.

I really got to learn a lot about Paul in this book. which was really nice. His protectiveness over Suzie was sweet but scary at the same time. Though you know you’ll never be in danger, let’s hope that the anger isn’t directed towards you. Though there was a mystery, I felt like this book was really about telling the story of how Suzie was coming to terms with her feelings for Paul. They both grew so much and the story was so focused on them that the mystery fell away.

I would say that it was an ok book but not the best out of the four. I still really like this series so far.

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Murder Mystery Party (Senoia Cozy Mystery #9)

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With two business to balance, Felicity is working hard to keep everyone happy. However, when someone passes away at one of their parties, the group take on the case pro-bono. Looking into the incident due to the victim being Brittany’s friend, the trio gets sucked into another complicated mystery. Now, they must figure out if the victim was the intended victim and who would want to killed such a well liked girl.

As you are all well aware of, I dislike lack of continuity in books. Now due to me reading the previous book recently, I recall that Jack was fired from the police squad. Now in this book it’s mentioned that he left the force… um being fired is not the same as voluntarily leaving the force to start a PI agency… I did like when books don’t stay on on track.

I did liked the the character development between Jack, Jefferson and Felicity. Jefferson and Felicity are getting their sea legs with their new relationship, while also getting used to Jack being in the same building as them. Jack does some reflection in this book and grows a little which allows us to get to know him a little bit more. I feel like Jack’s insecurity in his relationship with Brittany is in full display in this book, which makes him act irrationally and not as professional as he should.

One more this to point out about this book. This. Book. Ended. In. A. Cliffhanger… Avid readers would know how much I hate cliffhangers. It probably affected my positive thoughts of the book with that one action.


Senoia Cozy Mystery # 7 – 8

The Darling Deli Series 1 – 3

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When the owner of the competing store is found murdered, and all signs point towards Moira, she’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. Calling on the help of a private investigator, Moira fights to clear her name for a crime she didn’t commit, however, she is fighting mounting evidence.

I have found the cozy mystery book series where the restaurant owner isn’t acting like a private investigator, instead, she hires one. Though it’s the typical beginning, where the main character is suspected of murder, the nice twist is refreshing. We’ve to see poison in the food sold by the store in the past, but the reason for it being used was a little interesting.

We sadly didn’t learn very much about Moira or any of the characters, which leaves them feeling a little flat. We do get to know that Moira and David are both physically attractive as they are both described as handsome/beautiful for each other. The book is written in 3rd person omniscient so you would think we would get at least a little more information about the characters. As this is a really short book I will forgive it, however, I hope that they will be expanded upon in future books.

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A blizzard hits the small town of Maple Creek leaving the residence stuck indoors. However, after receiving a concerning phone call from a friend, leaves Moira worried. Upon arrival, she finds her friend dead. While the police are quick to rule it an accident Moira isn’t so sure. She calls in the help of David again and try and figure out who would want to hurt the poor woman.

This was a fun little book, the mystery was interesting as Moira had to figure out how to get the police to reopen the case. Like the last book, Moira called in David who did most of the work. I enjoyed the fact that though Moira is investigating, she is still relying on the professional to do most of the work. Moira however, just happens in the situations and doesn’t actively go head first into the situation.

We get to find out a little more about Moira and her support structure in town. Though we know that she is divorced, we get more information into Candice’s childhood. Sadly, David is still a rather flat character, though he really wasn’t in the book very much, even though he is being built up into being Moira’s romantic partner.

It was an interesting book, however, I just hope that the characters get expanded in the future novels.

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Valentine’s Day is coming up and it shares its week with the winter festival in Maple Creek. However, this Valentine’s Moira starts getting a lot of invites to the local dance. Moira isn’t getting into the love season with all the hectic occurrences happening around time. When the food critic, who comes to the festival each year, is found dead in the Deli, Moira finds it very disturbing.

The mystery was very obvious, however, really fun. I found it interesting that Moira wasn’t even investigating anything this book yet she still found herself in the middle of everything. She does think through the murder, without doing any legwork. I don’t know if David did any investigating as it wasn’t in the main storyline, however, I do believe that he must have.

We get to see more about Moira’s love life since her marriage, however, we also see how Candice is trying to get her mother out there again. I enjoyed the interactions between David and Moira, however, I feel like it’s very one-sided. We don’t really get to know much about what Moira is thinking throughout the book when it comes to David, which is odd because the narrator is omniscient.

I still enjoyed this book, they feel like a really nice short novel.

Senoia Cozy Mystery # 7 – 8

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Felicity lands the biggest party to hit town, the party for the actors who play in the locally shoot zombie show. It’s all fun and games until a dead body turns up at the party, all made up in zombie makeup. When the producer finds out the Felicity has worked on cases before he hires her to work this one. Suddenly she is fighting back her memories while trying to move forward.

The story was interesting and not as straightforward as I would have expected. The story kept me guessing until the very end, which is rare for me. I enjoyed how everything fell into place in the end and it all made sense. The ending didn’t feel forced at all and came together very well.  It was also very interesting how they incorporated the local TV show into the mystery. There was a lot more to the store than simply just throwing together a bunch of misunderstood actors.

Sadly Jack wasn’t really in this book, though that might be a good thing, as he always seems to get into trouble when he looks into a case with Felicity. We also get to know more about Felicity’s parents in this book, as she does spend some time with her mother in this book. Her mother is really fun to get to know, and I can not see why Felicity is so skeptical of what people say to her. Jefferson was really supportive and though he could have been written to use the situation to his advantage he never does. It’s really nice to see someone who is romantically interested in someone not take advantage of the situation. Felicity is a little over the place however, it was understandable after what happened to her fiance in the last book.

I really enjoyed this book, I’m going to blame it on Brian not being in this book.

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When Monte loses his job right before the wedding, he thought that it couldn’t get any worst. However, when he finds his boss murdered and is blamed them for the murder, things go from bad to worst. Felicity and Jefferson work hand in hand with same Dawn’s and Monte’s wedding. The only problem is to find a person that wanted to kill the victim and why.

I enjoyed seeing them trying to save Monte before the wedding. The group of friends work together to figure out who did it. Thought most of the time Jefferson and Felicity work together, we did get to be reminded how well Jack and Felicity work together. It wasn’t straightforward as I thought it would be at the beginning, however, it was very interesting.

We get two new characters in this book who are very cute. They are a couple, and we find out very quickly why they would have decided to work together at the party planning shop. I think due to the new additions, the book could be much more focused on the investigation rather than the parties. Though they were close before, we do get to see Jefferson and Felicity grow closer in this book which leads to an interesting turn of events at the end, after Dawn’s and Monte’s wedding of course.

I enjoyed this book, and can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out.

Death Before Diamonds (Sky High Pies Mystery #10)

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When a distraught man comes in looking for his older brother, Katie is thrown for a loop. His last social media update was a picture he had taken on Sky High’s porch. Katie is thrown into looking for the brother as well as digging up the family’s past. She might have bitten a little more than she could chew.

It was actually a fairly interesting story. The mystery is actually based on something that started 6 years before the actual story. Due to the interesting introduction, we get to see Katie actually dig into complete strangers pasts due to the implication of her shop. I noticed that Kate is working a lot quicker than the police until the end, it almost feels like playing catch up. I’ve noticed that this is starting to be a theme in these books.

Kate seems to be getting more comfortable in her relationships, not only while dealing with Trent and Dina but also with Zac. Trent seems to finally be accepting what happened in the past and moving on because Katie has obviously not let that stop her. Trent has also become more of a character and less of the caricature of a police. We also get to see the backgrounds of all the parties that were involved in the initial crime as well as the current missing persons. It was interesting how it was fully explored in this book without appearing dry.

I really enjoyed this book, it is a great continuation.

Skeletons & Scones (Sky High Pies Mysteries #8)

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When a new resident of Crescent Creek, and local psychic, comes to Kate after receiving a threat on her life. Though Kate encourages her to go to the police, she refuses. Only hours later, she is found at the scene of a murder. While the police are looking into the murder, Kate delves into the psychic’s past and tries to figure out what really happened before she came to Crescent Creek.

I’ll be completely honest I don’t know what to say about this book. I enjoyed it and it’s storyline, however, it simply wasn’t one of my favourites. We got to meet new characters in this book that add to town’s landscape. We explored the town a bit more and it’s surrounding, which just adds more to it actually being a place on the map. Also, we got to see Adam again, and he’s always fun.

The mystery was very simple. I enjoyed how Kate looking into Maureen’s past when she figures out something isn’t adding up. Kate doesn’t really help must with the murder investigation but puts in her 2 cents like always.

It was an ok book, just nothing really stood out in this one.


Murder for Millions (Sky High Pies Mysteries #7)
An Imitation of Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #9)

Oceanside Cozy Mystery 6 – 10

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The Shepard clan decides to take a bike tour, on Detective Peter’s suggestion. However, when things go wrong and Heather’s notices a body right off the trail. When Detective Smith mentions that there may be a link between this murder and a murder from 2 years previous. Now, Heather and Ryan and pulled into another murder mystery.

Ok, I know that I read a lot of books, however, after the first time we meet the murderer I knew exactly who it was and why they did it. It was a very straightforward mystery and utilized very common tropes that are found in the mystery genre. It really felt laking for me, however, that might be because I figured it out right away.

We get to learn more about Peter in this book, or rather more about the potential relationship between him and Jeana. He is a very cute character, and he seems still really young. He does fit with Jaena, who also seems really new to the world. We learnt more about Detective Smith, even though he should be out of the book series relatively soon.

This was an ok book, however, it could have been much better.

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After a horrible review that was left online about their doughnuts leads Heather and Amy to Salem. The day after arriving, their customer is found dead and they find themselves on the top of the suspect list. They must now look into the mystery to clear their names before they get put in jail for something they didn’t do.

I always love when the team are travelling and not in their hometown and are wrapped in the middle of another murder mystery. As it is situated in Salem, we get to see the team work with Psychics, I kinda wanted there to be witches but there isn’t any in this book. I will say that the story wasn’t that straightforward so it was interesting, however, I did have the guess really early on, and it was correct. However, if you don’t pay attention, then until Heather’s explanation it would be difficult to figure out.

I really enjoyed seeing Maricela again in this book, it has been too long. It was also fun to see Maricela as the logical mind next to Amy who believes in psychics and all that jazz. Similarly to in previous books, Heather and Maricela work really well together, almost better than with Amy. It was also interesting to see Heather giving Maricela adv about her relationship with Jung. It made them more relatable as characters, as this book series seems to have the monopoly on happy couples.

All in all this was a fun little book to read.

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This is Ryan’s first case on the force and he’s out to prove himself. So Heather tries to step back, however, when he gets too stuck he brings Heather in for her ‘baking’ knowledge. Heather puts her sleuthing to work to try and figure out who would want to kill a cupcake baker. The only other creepy thing is how similar the kitchen of the two bakeries are.

The murder itself was really obvious about who the murder was, however, the reasoning behind it took a little longer to find out why. It was interesting getting into the motive for the murder. Though the reasoning is very convoluted reason for the murder, however, it was interesting. I enjoyed seeing Ryan and Heather working together on this case again.

Ryan is a much more interesting character while his working in comparison to when he’s moping around about not being all to work. I expected Peters’ character to become a little more active in this book, however, he is still in the back and this saddens me. He seems to be a very nice character that Gillard could play with but he’s still in the background of the story. So we finally get to meet Edna’s admirer and he’s really cute. I hope we see more of him in the future books as he seems to be an interesting character to add. Chief Chet is a little awkward when it comes to trying to tell Ryan what he wants him to do, I’m sure he will even out in the future.

This was a fun book and a good continuation of the series.

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Heather and Lilly are getting ready for Nick’s first visit to Key West, however, this Thanksgiving isn’t going to be as calm as they want it to be. After a horrible accident happened, killing a man, everyone thought it was just that. However, It takes a lot to make a deep-fried chicken explode. Heather and Ryan work together to find out if it was just an accident or if someone what trying to go after the poor man.

This story was a little confusing, I don’t know if it was supposed to be or if it was accidental. Regardless, it wasn’t very well structured if it was intentional, there wasn’t enough information that was given to the reader to make an educated guess about how the murderer was. It even felt like Heather was grasping at straws in the book. If you think about it enough out could guess the murderer but it’s all based on circumstantial evidence rather than concrete evidence, which I didn’t enjoy.

I was enjoyable to see Nick again, even though he wasn’t really in the book very much. What little he was in the book, it was nice to see his relationship with Lilly again after the last few books. We did get a little bit of the background to the victim’s family, however, since they were under investigation it wasn’t much of a surprise.Peters was still in the background and acted very much like a lost puppy where Jaena is concerned. I really want to know more about Peters, so hopefully, he won’t be another Jamie but we have yet to see.

Overall, it was an ok book.

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Jamie’s mobile pet grooming business is up and running. However, after his first day, he is left with a dog whose owner has gone missing. Ryan and Heather go looking for the owner and quickly find her dead. They now have to figure out who would want to kill the victim, and Jamie and Amy have to figure out what to do with the dog that is now in their possession.

Though I do like that Jamie is a larger part of this mystery than before, it was a little bit of an awkward start. The fact that Jamie was the one who initiated the search and no one taking it seriously made it a slow start. However, once it did start it fell right into the tropes that come with someone changing their identity. It was ok, however, a little predictable sadly. I did, however, like the use of DNA in this book. For once they use actual science and not just conjecture. It made it wrap up nicely in the end.

Like I said before, I enjoyed seeing Jamie in the book again. It was an integral part at the beginning. He is normally in the background, so it was nice to see him brought forward and used in a book for once. Amy seems to have calmed down in the book, however, it’s obvious that she still doesn’t like them. It’s just nice that her reactions are not as annoying as in the first few books where she was around bodies.

It was an ok book, however, it’s still not one of my favourites.


Oceanside Cozy Mysteries #1 – 5