A Deadly Engagement (Margot Durand Mysteries #9)

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Margot and Adam come back from their interesting vacation from Oregon. However, as per Adam’s request, they are keeping their engagement a secret. After Bently reaches out to Margot to figure out some information about his past. Now tensions are high, not only due to the secret she is keeping from her friends, but also digging into her friend’s past.

This wasn’t my favourite book, I felt like most of the book was Margot trying to convince Adam of her theory. Margot, in the end, is correct, but Adam simply gets mad because she goes off on her own to investigate the murder and mystery. Since he didn’t believe her, I don’t know what else he wanted her to do.

Though I didn’t really like the mystery of the book, the storyline is actually quite interesting. Bentley becomes deeper as a character and is fleshed out even more in this book. The interesting concept that he is the father of a criminal is quite interesting. We also get to see Margot finally snap a little at Adam and tell him how she feels about keeping the secret from her friends. Being in a relationship is not as perfect as this genre of books makes it out to be, so it was nice to add in that realism.  Talking about perfect romance, Dex and Julia are becoming just a cute couple and they work really well together. 

It was an ok book, however, I hope the next book in this series is even better.


Bakeries and Bodies (Margot Durand #8)

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Maple Syrup Mysteries #4 – 6

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Everything is on the up and up with Sugar wood, so Nikki decides to hire a photographer to get the website updated to increase business. However, during a tour, the photographer turns up dead and his girlfriend is missing. Nikki gets pulled into a new investigation. After meeting with the new Cheif of police, however, things get a little complicated as he doesn’t trust anyone in the town. She takes it as a challenge to find out who was the one who killed the budding artist.

I really enjoyed this book. The mystery was interesting and though it was a little hard to figure out who the killer until the very end, it was interesting. You have to wait until the very end to have enough evidence that actually points to anyone. The mystery was not a standard one for cozy mysteries, however, having the 2 stories hypothesis running parallel was interesting.

The character development was interesting in this book. The victim was really well developed in this book. We got to understand his motivations, and even get to understand his feelings towards his girlfriend. The funny thing is that the girlfriend isn’t nearly as well developed has the victim. Nikki and Mark work really well together in this book, and we even get to meet Mark’s mother in this book. Sadly it was a really quick scene as Nikki seems to always be getting herself in trouble.

I really love this book series, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites.

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Nikki’s mother decided to make a surprise visit to town, and things are off to a rough start. When some blood is found in the bathroom of the room adjacent to her mothers, Nikki gets pulled into another case. The chief of police reaches out to Nikki, and due to half of the department being out sick, he pulls her in on the case. She gets her mother cleared to help her with this case. Nikki can finally show her mother that she’s been doing just fine since her move to Fair Haven.

This mystery was interesting and nuanced. I really enjoyed the background to the murder victims as well as the murderer. You can actually feel for the murderer and their motivations. This is the first book in this series that actually makes you feel for the murderer and relate to them. The method of working the case was interesting, and I loved how the most important piece of evidence was provided by the murderer themselves.

We finally get to meet Nikki’s mother in this book, and we get to see Mark’s mother more in this book. The dynamic between the two mothers is really interesting. Though they both seem to want the best for the couple, they have very different ideas of what would be best. Nikki also gets to have a very important conversation with her mother in regards to her future and the issues that come with being a defence lawyer. I felt like Nikki really grew in this book, and we got to explore more of what makes her tick as a character and what she wants in the future. Mark and Nikki’s relationship also grew in this book, and they became closer as a couple.

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Nikki and Mark get to Washington to not only to check out the potential new job but also catching up with her friends. However, when something is obviously up with her best friend, Ahanti, Nikki get’s worried. Mark doesn’t even bat an eyelash when she decides to help. However, things get a little more confusing when Ahanti’s old boss is found dead. Now, Nikki must also walk back into her role as a lawyer to help out her friend.

This mystery was interesting but actually really easy to figure out. At more than one point I wanted to shake the characters and ask them why they were putting the victim in dangerous situations several times. I did enjoy them diving into Ahanti’s story and background. Though the mystery was straightforward, it was still really interesting.

We actually got to learn a lot about Nikki’s life before Fair Haven. We find out about her friends and family life. I do enjoy getting more background information to Bekki. We also get to see the dynamic in her family. She get’s a very interesting relationship with her father. The last book really helped Nikki and her mother’s relationship grow and heal. Nikki has also grown during her time in Fair Haven. She can finally see her parents trying to help her and not meddle with her life.

The version I read did have a fair number of typos in it, so just been warned.

Chocolate Centered Cozy Mysteries Books 1 – 4

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Ally comes home to relax after a messy divorce. She quickly starts working in her grandmother’s chocolate shop again. Soon after her arrival, however, the delivery driver is found dead. Ally is suddenly determined to find justice for the man while trying to get the new detective off her back as a potential killer.

This book was very interesting and it incorporated a lot of elements. Though it is a very standard start to a small town murder mystery, they did play with the fact that Ally did live in the city for a few years. It also got to play the history of the characters to further the Plot of the book. I know this complaint is common for me, however, I found that the murder was a little obvious.

There was a lot of character building in this book. They drop the reading into a book, where all the character has a lot of history together. I did enjoy finding out more about the backgrounds of all of there character, but I am in love with character building. All is an interesting character, however, she does fit into the standard archetype for a lead female lead. Typically, Luke is the typical standoffish cop, however, he wasn’t outright mean so it’s all forgiven.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. This isn’t a surprise because I like Cindy Bell.

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Ally is settling back into Blue River and starts spending with her grandmother again. However, when someone uses her grandmother’s chocolates to kill a woman in the apartment complex her grandmother wants to move into, suddenly it becomes all hands on deck. Ally must try and find out who would want to frame her grandmother and herself for murder.

I do like Cindy Bell, however, I found that this book dragged on quite a bit. It was filled with unnecessary details that didn’t progress the plot. Though there were 2 main suspects it was easy to figure at who did it, and though they try to confuse the reader, it didn’t really help. Ally took far too many risks in this book and could have really jeopardized the case. I know that Ally wants to be independent, however, she really should listen to Luke more.

Speaking of Luke, he is much more lovable this book. Again due to his investigation the last book, it’s understandable for his demeanour, however, I like him much more. Also understandable is the fact that Ally is still really uptight and naive about love due to her divorce. Ally and Luke make a very cute couple. Charlotte was really fun especially with her impending move which makes a good portion of this book focused on Ally’s separation anxiety.

This was not my favourite book in this series.

 

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Ally goes to the next town over to try and win the contract with a local hotel. Everything seems fine until she starts to bring some of her grandmother’s things to the car, she finds her trunk isn’t so empty. She calls Luke and he calls the police. However, the new detective in town is more determined to figure out why Ally killed the man than find the actual killer.

I hate to say this is a trend, however, this book also dragged a little too much for me. After destroying a crime scene in the last book you would think that she would be more careful, but alas Ally is still not listening to Luke. Luke’s hands were pretty much tied throughout the book which left ally doing some pretty dangerous things, however, it was cute seeing him go out to bat to try and clear Ally’s name.

Ally really needs to learn to talk to people close to her and open up more. So many of the personal aspects of this book were because of Ally’s lack of communication. Luke was preoccupied most of the book and Ally never once asked him about it like an adult and just started assuming negative things. We do get to find out more things about Ally’s past which makes the reader understand the thought process behind Ally’s actions. Charlotte helps Ally a lot during the investigation in this book, and I just enjoy how feisty she still is even in her older age.

I enjoyed this book more than the last, but there still needs to be some work with the pacing.

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The local farmer’s market is a time-honoured tradition and makes everyone in Blue River come out and show their support. However, when the youngest son of one of the big farms is murder, everyone starts looking for the murderer. Ally starts looking into it because she’s can’t believe that the victim’s own brother had anything to do with it.

This book is very interesting and builds the town’s surrounding as well as a little history between Ally and the family. Ally and Charlotte look into the case as it’s in a different town that means Luke has no access to the case files or any finding. As per usual, Ally makes too many risky decisions, and I feel like Luke should have a tracker on her.

Ally actually grows this book, shocker I know. She’s actually starting to feel like a well-rounded character, and less flat. Luke and Ally are still in a really weird limbo when faced with the future of their relationship. Charlotte is having fun playing matchmaker this book. 

There are no time markers really in this book series so we don’t really know how long the between periods are. I find it a little irritating.

Deadly Desserts (Sky High Pies Mysteries #6)

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Crescent Creek is gearing up for the annual food and wine fair. Kate was roped into being on a panel to judge snacks and desserts. At a pre-judging for the contest, one of the judges has a medical emergency. A few hours later she sadly passes away in the hospital. The police now have a murder on their hands and once they delve into the case they find out there is more than what meets the eye.

Well, this was a fun book. The mystery was more involved than previous books, or even other books in this genre that I’ve read. It wasn’t terribly hard to figure out with all of the hints that were given to the reader.

I enjoyed the dynamics between Dina and Kate while they were solving the crime. I was a little sad that Trent wasn’t in the book more than he was, however, I love the role that he played at the end of the book. Jack wasn’t in the book much either, but he definitely provided the voice of reason when it was needed.

The boom expanded on the already existing world. We got to find out about different festivals that are happening in and around the town. Crescent Creek is becoming more vivid as the books progress.


A Zest for Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #5)
Murder for Millions (Sky High Pies Mysteries #7)

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)