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)

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Bekki the Beautician Cozy Mysteries 5 – 8

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When Bekki gets an unexpected from her friend in New York, it should be a joyous occasion to catch up with each other. However, when she is found dead in her hotel room, the mood turns dark. Though Nick suggests not looking into this case, however, Bekki can’t let it go. She delves into Jasmine’s life and her death.

I temporarily forgot how much I love this series. Bekki and Nick are really cute together, with Bekki’s tendency of getting into trouble, Nick is needed to keep her alive. Though Bekki did investigate the case a little, however, she actually plays it safe throughout the book. That doesn’t stop Bekki from getting in trouble because of the case.

The mystery was interesting. It’s a little sad that it had to incorporate one of Bekki’s friends from New York being murder. The murder does actually shine a light on Bekki’s past and her shenanigans as a teenager.

The relationship between Nick and Bekki grew in this book. With Bekki more aware of her relationship issues thanks to her previous relationship. They have gotten better at communicating. Also, Bekki isn’t trying to run off and do her own thing without talking with Nick.

Overall, I really like this book.

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Christmas is right around the corner, and Bekki is getting ready for the holidays. However, when a local man was killed by the dry cleaner in “self-defence”, everyone town gets a little on edge. However, the police and Bekki all know something else is going on but can’t prove it. Bekki is determined to clear John’s name and find out what really happened.

Ok, Bekki was a little overzealous about clearing John’s name after the murder that claimed his life. After reading multiple of these books, it’s easy to understand the passion that she has to solve the cases, however, she should maybe not go poking a murderer. She works really hard to solve the case and find some type of evidence for Nick to be able to go after the murderer, but she should take a little bit more care.

Nick and Bekki also finally talk about their relationship in this book. Though Bekki’s slight fear of rejection is evident throughout the series, she finally voices it to Nick. They were really cute during the book.

I really enjoyed the book.

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Bekki is so excited when she gets to, not only watch their show but work with a famous magician during their show in town. When something goes wrong with the trick, Bekki and Nick have to work fast. While the potential of it just being an accident is high, there is something that doesn’t really feel right. They delve into the pair’s past for any clues why anyone would want to kill him.

This book was a little too predictable. I know that a lot of cozy mysteries are supposed to be predictable but I felt like the story was more of a backdrop for what was going on than anything else. I know that the ending of this book was the actual focus of the book, however, that doesn’t mean that the main story should have been disregarded. I feel like it’s a given that Bekki is in danger and Nick saves her, as it has been in all the books up until now.

That being said, the ending was really cute. It was totally obvious really, but I was still excited. It didn’t help that I already knew the title of the next book in the series.

I really liked this book series.

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While running around and finishing the last few things for the wedding, Bekki happens upon a murder. However, when the cops are looking at Bekki as the murder, she fights back by trying to figure out who was that one who actually killed the jeweller. But there is one other thing on her mind, will she ever get the wedding rings in time for her wedding.

While planning the wedding, Bekki stumbles onto a body. Well, the body of the jeweller who was engraving her wedding rings. She gets pulled into another murder mystery just days before her wedding. This makes everything a little more complicated. She rushes around trying to solve the murder while prepping for the wedding.

The mystery was a little fun as it dealt with a larger scheme than just the murder. We get to see some criminals again, different from the last book and the drug ring.

We don’t really get to see much of Nick in this book in comparison to the previous books. He still makes an appearance and is loving and supportive as always. He might want to be a little more firm about the “No getting in dangerous situations” rule.

I really enjoyed this series.

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)

Cats, Cakes and Clues

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Being the only witch family in Crystal Cove, Grace’s family keeps it pretty low key while they run a bakery. However, when a local man was found in their oven, the rumours start up again. Now, Grace is pulled back into the world of the police force by the current detectives. Grace must now figure out who killed the pub owner, while trying to stay out of the crosshairs herself.

I enjoyed the characters and the world that was constructed during the story. I enjoyed learning about Grace’s family’s background and the rich history of Hemlock Cove. Hope is still an enigma and I don’t know if that was on purpose, but it doesn’t really fit with the story that was told during this book.

There was some inconsistency in the book that was a little weird, like Graces age and some personality quirks. I feel like it needed maybe another pair of eyes were needed for this book. Since I’m a stickler for consistency it really bothered me when it came up.

I did enjoy the mystery and how well they intertwined the magical aspect of Hemlock Cove into it. It was an interesting story that I will probably continue.

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Harley Hill is in need for a different identy and quick, with a crime boss on her tail she needs to turn to her friend for help. With a passport on they way, Cole pairs her up with Cordi to make some money fast. Her background comes in handy to figure out one more mystery before disappearing for good.

I actually liked this book. It was an interesting take on someone turning their life around. Harley has an interesting background, and though she works hard to turn her life around. The other characters that surround her are eclectic and interesting. That adds a lot of depth to the story and made me want to find out about everyone even more. Of course, there are the mandatory hot men that surround the main character throughout the book.

There was only one thing that bothered me throughout the book and that was the ancient Japanese doll. Chase used doru (ドール) as the term for the doll. Now I’m sure that most people didn’t mind this word, however, it really annoyed me as someone who can understand Japanese. Doru is the English word for Doll pronounced in Japanese and would have only started being used after WWII. I pretended it was a daruma (達磨) the entire time to save my sanity.

The storyline was interesting and slightly different from what I normally read. However, the different perspective of a thief for hire was an interesting way of looking at the takedown of the criminal crime bosses.

Overall I enjoyed the book. However, the one thing that I mentioned above ruined the immersion of the book for me.

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The newest finder angency has just began their operations. The first job is to find an ancient diary. However, when one of their employers was found dead, they now not only have to find the book, but track down the killer as well. Cordi and Harley have to put their heads together to figure out who would want the old book collector dead.

After reading the first book, I was a little weary about this one, to be honest. It was an interesting book, with them looking for an old ancient text for a collector. Harley works with Alex throughout the book to solve the murder of the collector while everyone else wants to just sweep it under the rug. We don’t really get to see Cole must throughout the book, however, a lot of the story near the end actually revolves around him, in a way.

The store line, actually contained about 3 running at the same time. Chase worked the storylines together nicely and tied it up nicely. It may have been a little too neat, however, it still worked for the book.

Overall, it was a fun book and I will probably read the rest of the series.

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

Darcy Sweet Mysteries # 1 – 5

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In a small town, Darcy lives a simple life running her bookstore, Sweet Read, and trying to be as normal as possible. However, when you are connected to the other side with a sixth sense it’s hard to be normal. When her next door neighbour is murdered, her sister’s new partner, who is new to town, zones in on Darcy. She can’t exactly tell him that her six sense told her something was wrong next door, so she must live with his scrutiny while trying to find out what happened to her friend Anne.

I’m so happy I found this book. I have been looking for a good cozy mystery series. Right away, we get a feel for the town and get to know more about Darcy. The town and its residents are well developed through this book and allowed the reader to connect.

The entire situation between Darcy and Jon was a little weird, but that was forgiven as it’s a cozy mystery. We do have the mandatory ex, but he was taken care of relatively quickly.

The mystery was interesting and watching Darcey figure it out was amusing. The added touch of her 6th sense was interesting and well utilized throughout the book. This brings together 2 of the genres that I like, urban fantasy and mystery. This book doesn’t lean too heavily on her powers, however, they are an interesting bonus in this series.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading the next book.

 

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Everything is calm in Misty Creek, that is until Darcy has a vision about something that happened in Jon’s past. As she is just getting to know him, she doesn’t know how to broach the subject. Together they work to find out who has killed his colleague, as well as solve the one case the still haunts him from his past district.

Excellent follow up to the previous book. The last book we found out about Jon’s past or a little bit about it, but thankfully they didn’t leave us in the dark. We find out a lot more about the murder charge and everything surrounding it.

Jon and Darcy have really grown as characters as well as a couple. Jon’s past feels more like part of him than just something quickly thrown together for the precious book. We get to meet two of his college friends which added more depth. Darcy’s gifts were utilized much more in this book which gives us a better idea of what she can do.

The mystery was a fun delve into Jon’s past, and without anyone dying in Misty Creek we got to have an excellent murder mystery. I did feel like Darcy should have maybe spoken with Jon after the vision but that might be a little outside of her comfort zone right now.

I am really enjoying the series so far, I hope it keeps its momentum.

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When Sue brings her friend to see Darcy, she is shocked to find that they are looking for some more information about her deceased mother. After years of unanswered questions, she’s come to the one person in town who has a reputation for knowing things that she shouldn’t about people. Darcy agrees because she can’t say no to a friend. While looking into the fire that took place years prior, she finds out not all is as it may seem.

I’m really enjoying the books where there is a mystery to solve but no one in the town dies. Jon and Darcy look into the death of a woman that happened many years prior. Due to the mystery, we get to delve into the history of the town. We get to learn so much that it makes the town feel much richer than previously. We get to also expand the character base in the story adding more layers into the town. Misty Creek feels like a city that you could just visit.

Jon and Darcy also work closely together throughout the book which allows them to grow as a couple. With the introduction of Darcy’s mother, we get to see how the family dynamic is between them. They work together very well, however, I feel like Jon still doesn’t really believe Darcy throughout this book.

I really love how everything in this book builds onto the previous books so well. This was a very interesting book.

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When a vengeful ghost comes to visit Darcy, she is pulled into a new mystery. Now Darcy and Jon must look into a murder that happened years before on Christmas. But not only that, but Jon and Darcy have to face the real reason their relationship is in a stall, her powers.

Well, this was a really fun book. We get to see why Darcy is so reluctant to let Jon move in with her and it has everything to do with her powers. Jon is reluctant to accept her powers like so many people would be in this world. We get to see them work it out throughout the book and they even have a fight that makes them seem like a relatable couple.

The mystery, once again, was a cold case that was brought to Darcy by her visions. Similar to the last books, there were no murders in the present day, and they were looking into something that happened years back. This makes a lot more sense for a small town, as in other series there is a murder nearly every other week which doesn’t make a lot of sense in the real world. However, like most people know that even small towns have their skeletons and Darcy is cleaning out the closet.

We got to see an expansion in the town this books, thanks to the Christmas pageant and looking into the past once again. Also, we get to see more of Grace in this book and her thoughts on Jon and Darcy’s relationship. This gives a different perspective on the couple and their fight.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book.

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With Valentine’s Day on the way, the town of Misty Creek has love on the mind. However, while Aaron was out he goes missing. Now Darcy must help Grace find her husband as well as keeping her calm throughout the ordeal. Jon must take the lead while both Grace and Darcy are relatively out of commision.

Just when I thought that there wasn’t another take of no murder in a cozy mystery book, Emrick succeeded. We got to see Grace in the forefront of the book with Jon and Darcy this book which was lovely. With Aaron missing, Grace is beside herself throughout the book. As this is right before Valentine’s Day there is also a heavy emphasis on love throughout the book. I really enjoyed how closely Jon and Darcy worked this case even though Darcy used her powers very little this book.

The characters grow closer in this book, and it was nice to see. We also got to explore a new town in the universe which was nice. Just seeing Jon and Darcy come closer and think about the next step that might happen in their lives.

I really enjoyed this book.