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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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.

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 ‚Äď 8

The Body in the Bakery (Sky High Pies Mysteries#15)

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The week seemed normal until Katie receives news about a childhood friend being accused of murder. After being reached out to by the family, Katie decides to take a deeper look into her friend’s life since leaving Crescent Creek. She quickly finds out that things aren’t as Rosie for her friend and their cafe. However, things get even more bizarre as it takes forever to find out who the mystery dead man was, and none of the clues are adding up.

This was an interesting mystery that was focused on circumstantial evidence that Katie focuses on explaining all the things that are happening. She does face a little more resistance in this book than in previous books.¬† I do get to see her deal with police officers and even the lawyer that her friend’s family was working with. We are so used to seeing Katie get her way with the local police that it was a little more interesting seeing the pushback.

We also got to learn a little more about Katie’s high school years. Since she gets to talk with Holly about the past for a little bit at the end of the book. Katie and Harper also talk slightly about their relationship back in high school and how it wasn’t as close as a reader would imagine.

It was a very interesting read and I’m still enjoying the series.

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.