Funfetti Murder + Wild Raspberry Murder

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While helping out at a PTA event on Lilly’s request, Heather has a strained encounter with the president of said PTA. When she is found dead in her home, Heather must step back as she is aware she may be a suspect. Now Ryan must figure out whether or not Heather is a suspect and who actually wanted to kill the PTA president, not like it’s a short list.

Well, this was a fun book. Unlike in previous books when Heather is potentially one of the suspects in this book. She actually does volunteer the information to Ryan when she finds out who the victim is. We get to see the relationship between Lilly and Heather grow deeper in this book. We also get to see Heather work through her feelings after being confronted with not being Lilly’s biological mother. For parents who are busy, the worry that they are not taking care of their children the way they should is always a worry.

The murder was fairly simple to solve however, I wonder if the means of murder wasn’t thought through. I work with insulin needles daily and they wouldn’t fit through the cork. Gillard never specifies if she removed the cork or put the poison through the cork but the description of a “big” needle is wrong. My cat’s insulin needles is much bigger than my mother’s and it isn’t long enough to go through a cork.

Other than that inconsistency, it was a fun story.

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Just so that they can relax, heather and the crew when to enjoy a murder mystery show at a local restaurant. However, little did they know that they would find the valet of the night dead. Now Ryan and Heather must look into the past of the valet, as well as look into the past of everyone in the theatre group.

I enjoyed this book more than the last few books. This mystery had an interesting backdrop of a murder mystery play being performed the same night. The characters were a little more eccentric than normal, but we can typically brush it off to them being actors and actresses, so they have the flair for the dramatics. We got to see Heather and Amy untangle the intricate relationship web between the victim and the cast of the play.

I enjoyed the character of the Tracey Trigger, she attempts to work as an amateur sleuth but does more harm than good in the end. This almost plays on the idea that due to her not having any idea of police procedures she can contaminate the scene. This is also a little nod to the genre of cozy mysteries as the main characters typically don’t follow the law.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it’s one of the better books in the series.


Banana Fudge Murder + Blueberry Stars & Stripes Murder

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A Donut hole Cozy Mystery 36 – 37

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So I realized while I was doing some back-end work on the blog and I noticed that I missed books 36 – 39 for this series.

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This book saw even more added stress to Heather due to a double homicide as well as the fair. Sadly Kate made multiple appearances in this book, and I still can’t see what she adds to the store. Geoff, though I found him useless, had some comedic relief. Kate just makes me annoyed the entire time she’s mentioned in the book.

The mystery itself was interesting and something new. However, it was also a little convoluted. Though the apparent dual was a nice touch, it was a little circular with everything. What I did really enjoy about the book is that we got a good back story to the victims as well as their families. This gave a little more depth to the characters in this book.

Overall an enjoyable read.

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It’s weird that I’m happy that Heather got a talking to because of her manner of investigating, but that is the reality of life. This was a nice mystery and the murder made sense. It was a little more difficult to follow the logic with what was given as clues, but it was fairly logical. I enjoyed the characters that were brought into this story. I kind of want to know more information about the older woman who lives in the building.

I feel like the relationship between the main characters are not being developed as they should, though that might be because of the focus has shifted to the victims. I really want the character relationships to be expanded on even more. Now that Lilly is officially their child. I want to know more about her, and see her relationship with her parents grow.

Overall I did actually enjoy the book.


Passion Fruit Punch Murder + Pecan Nut Crunch Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #34 + 35)
Raspberry Coulis Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #38) + Creme Brulee Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #39)

Banana Fudge Murder + Blueberry Stars & Stripes Murder

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Amy, Jamie, Ryan and Heather all go for a double date together. However, they are called away after their waiter was murdered. Jamie now has to come to terms with knowing the victim and Amy being pulled away at any time due to her job. While they are working the case, Amy has to not only has to help Heather find the murderer but also has to work out the issues that she is having with her relationship.

This book has a little more character building, specifically with Amy and Jamie. We get to see them work through their issues throughout this book. Ok well not throughout, just quickly at the end. I would really like to see much more character development and see more realistic conversations between 2 characters who aren’t Heather, Amy and Ryan.

I enjoyed the story and also liked how we got to meet the victim before they were murdered. It’s an interesting little story, it still has Lyle Clark as a suspect near the end. I feel like the Character is running its course and hopefully will be gone soon. I do like how Kate isn’t anywhere in this book or the past few one.

Overall, it’s a fine book, but I really want to get longer stories.

 

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While out with the family for the 4th of July, Heather notices something’s odd about a house nearby. When she discovers the occupant of the house was murdered, Ryan and Heather start work quickly on the new crime scene. With a messy divorce to sift through Ryan and Heather have to figure out who in the victim’s family would have wanted to kill her.

This was an interesting little book. I was a little surprised that mystery was a lot easier to solve than previous books. However, we did get to see Jamie more in this book which was a little nice. We get to see some development between Jamie and Amy which is lovely, as to this book, we’ve only really seen hear-say.

Like I said, is an easy murder to figure out so when you read it don’t be surprised. I did like the mystery and how seamlessly it went together even if it was a little easy. This might be the one time that the doughnut doesn’t sound too appealing, and that is for someone who likes jalapenos.

Regardless, this was a fun little book to read.


Chocolate Chip Custard Murder + Mint Creme Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #46 + #47)

Blueberry Spangled Murder + Strawberry Sprinkled Swirl Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #48 + #49)

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After a horrible accident at a 4th of July celebration, Heather, Amy and Ryan get pulled away to look at the scene of the crime. They have to figure out if the death was a result of an accident or if someone had tried to murder the seemingly lovable man. But things only get a little more complicated when they find out that he had wanted to change his will. This isn’t going to be an easy

I enjoyed the book, however, as without a confession this case wouldn’t have been solved. Everything is circumstantial and there is no proof to point the finger at anyone. I really don’t like books like this because without the confession it would have never gone to court. I know there are cases like that in the real world, but it bothers me.

We got to see the other characters more in this book which was nice. Though there wasn’t much character development in this book, I still love seeing the ever-expanding characters in this book.

Overall, it was a fine book. Just could have been a bit better.

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When the speaker at a function at the newly opened hotel is murdered in his room in the middle of the night trouble start brewing. With only 2 keys to the room and both accounted for, they have to figure out how the murderer got in and out without the use of the key. Heather and Ryan have to figure out their own locked room mystery.

I have read many locked door mysteries and this one took an interesting look at the common mystery. I felt like it may have been a little obvious from the get-go, but then again… I read too many mystery books. I enjoyed the simplicity of the story. I have read some very elaborate ways for the mystery to work.

The world in this books has expanded a little more with the addition of the hotel. Though this was very focused on the mystery and we didn’t really get to see anyone except Amy, Heather and Ryan in this story.

This story had a really good base and I really want Gillard to expand her books. It’s ok if she doesn’t put out a book a week and give the books a little more meat.


Vanilla Cream Murder + Chocolate Peanut Brittle Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #44 + #45)
Banana Fudge Murder + Blueberry Stars & Stripes Murder

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.

Cotton Candy Fluff Murder + Cherry Dream Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #42 + #43)

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When Heather is called to a crime scene, she is surprised to find out that it’s the young equestrian star, Fred Nolan, who had been in an accident the week earlier. Now the gang is trying to find out who cut the young man’s life short. The only problem is that the Nolan family might be one of the most dysfunctional families to grace Heather’s door to date.

Now that Amy is a full-fledged investigator, the witty comments in the background have been cut down to a minimum, I believe she’s supposed to have been written to finally understand how inappropriate it is. Amy has advanced and aged a little in this book, which I find is nice, as she is in her 40s, similar to Heather.

This murder was fairly easy to figure out, but like always, I enjoyed that we got to see the background of the victim and his family life. That is always my favourite part of any good mystery book.

This was a good continuation of the book series. Also, now I want cotton candy.

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When Catherine Willard is found dead only hours after Heather and Amy talked with the woman. Between really odd son and the potential link to a new contractor that just got into town, somethings are just not adding up in this case.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I don’t like the way that one of the characters was used in this book. I get that they wanted to add a criminal with a shady past who is living above the law, but the way they used them it was not the best. I don’t mind the character archetype, I just want them used better.

The mystery was a little too obvious, and the method made no sense. I wanted to find out more about the victim and for the above character to be used. I guess I wanted a little more action in this book then I got in the end.

It’s a fine book, but not my favourite in the series.


Kiwi Lime Surprise Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #40) + Peaches and Cream Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #41)
Vanilla Cream Murder + Chocolate Peanut Brittle Murder (Donut Hole Mystery #44 + #45)