For the Love of Murder (Sky High Pies Mystery #17)

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Kate has wrapped into another mystery again. After a friendly face in the neighbourhood comes asking for some help from a friends, then later that same friend is found beaten, and his girlfriend murdered, this just looks a little weird. Soon things aren’t adding up, and it all seems to backtrack to a dating website. Kate looks deeper and deeper into the case and only manages to get more questions.

I will say, I don’t know it’s because I read it on my flight to Japan, or because I just couldn’t follow the story well. I knew who the murderer was, however, I was confused like nothing else when it actually came to the point of the murderer is arrested. I still didn’t quite get why he did was he did. I know that Trent explains it, but I don’t know, it didn’t add up to me. The characters were really developed well in this book, and it kind of just felt like they were going through the motions. I know that I love this series, but this book was a bust. I really wanted to get into it, but I just couldn’t.

That being said, I was heading to Japan when I read it so I might need to give it another shot when I’m not so distracted.

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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

A Final Act of Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #14)

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Zack and Katie plan to have a nice relaxing day at the theatre, however, when they hear a call for help, those plans are dashed. Katie runs to the aid of the lead actor who had just been stabbed. After a person of interest is found dead the next day, things get a little weirder.

The mystery was actually quite interesting. They had to figure out if the two crimes were related, or just coincidental. I did feel like the reader never got enough information to go on to really figure out who the prime suspects here. I know that the author does that on purpose, but it really irritates me. I enjoy following along with the main character’s thought process which is hard when vital information is kept from us. The motive of the killer was a little all over the pace, and it’s actually quite hard to follow.

I do like finally meeting Julia’s kids thought it was really short. The background that is finally building around some of the main characters is quite nice. Trent and Dina were no where in this book other then one quick phone call to Trent. Taylor is growing into a a strong character, I just kinda want a little more information about him.

Overall, it’s a really interesting story line in this book.

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.

Sweet, Sweet Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #13)

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Sky High Pies is pretty regular, so when one morning Katie receives a billfold, hotel key card and a mysterious phone call things get a little weird. Kate starts looking into the information that was handed to her she finds herself going down the rabbit hole. She finds out about the mysterious disappearance that occurred while she was away. While trying to track down the owner of the billfold, she gets dragged deeper into the mystery.

There was a novel written inside of the book that had had the same storyline as the one that we were reading. The story that was explained in the book, leads the reader to know exactly what is going to happen in the current story. I did the premise interesting, and we did get to find out more about Cresent Creek in this book.

We sadly don’t see Zack much in this book, however, we do get to see Katie talking to people around town. Due to this, we do get to meet more secondary characters. I am starting to really like the dynamic relationship between the three women at the bakery, they are really close and they work together the entire time. I really wanted to see Kate’s relationship with Zack to grow more, however, this will only happen if he appears more in the book.

Overall, I do enjoy this book.

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.

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.