Pumpkin Pie Waffle (The Diner of the Dead #5)

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Halloween is in the air and Sonja is excited. There couldn’t beer the worst time to find out that the Halloween kidnapper was out and wandering the streets. Frank asks Sonja to keep her eyes peeled for anything suspicious. After a middle schooler goes missing at the schools Halloween party things get kicked up to high gear. Now Frank and Sonja must rush and find out where she went before the night is over.

It’s been a little while since I read this series and I forgot how much I enjoyed this series. Though there wasn’t much in the way of ghosts in this book. However, thinking back on the book there may have been one, but I’m uncertain if he was a ghost. We did very you encounter a witch in this book which was interesting.

This book didn’t have a murder to solve, just a missing person which was hectic enough. Sonja was pulled into the mess by not only her cop boyfriend but also she was the last person to see Marissa before she went missing. In some way, she might have been pulled in sooner or later by the witch.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and three little bit of character that there was in this book.

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The Pie Crust Killer (Sky High Pies Mystery #12)

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Everything is calm around Sky High until the local police come to see her. When a vintage pie pan from Sky High Pies is found at the scene of two murders, it starts to look like it might have something to do with a part occurrence that happened at Sky High Pies while her grandmother was still alive. Now, Katie starts looking into the murders to figure out what could have possibly lead to the murders. 

This story pulled a lot on the past of Crescent Creek, which was nice. We got to hear more about her grandmother. The murders were very precise and used very specific details from sky high’s past that expanded to the history of the town. I did enjoy the significance of the murders and the almost ritualistic aspects to them. It really allowed us to find out more about the characters involved.

Since Blanche plays a large role in the book we get to find out more about her and her past. I’m pretty sure we knew that she was a teacher at one point, but that must have slipped my mind while reading this book. We also get more information about Kate’s high school career and what it was like for the students in the school. The map gets expanded as well, as we find out a little about the neighbouring town and the outskirts of Cresent Creek. 

I felt like this book was very focused on the character development aspect of the story, which I loved, but didn’t really leave much to the mystery. Also, a good part of the book was just Kate fuming about the out of town police officer. I still enjoyed the book, however.


The Marzipan Murders (Sky High Pies Mysteries #11)
Sweet, Sweet Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #13)

Oceanside Cozy Mystery 6 – 10

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The Shepard clan decides to take a bike tour, on Detective Peter’s suggestion. However, when things go wrong and Heather’s notices a body right off the trail. When Detective Smith mentions that there may be a link between this murder and a murder from 2 years previous. Now, Heather and Ryan and pulled into another murder mystery.

Ok, I know that I read a lot of books, however, after the first time we meet the murderer I knew exactly who it was and why they did it. It was a very straightforward mystery and utilized very common tropes that are found in the mystery genre. It really felt laking for me, however, that might be because I figured it out right away.

We get to learn more about Peter in this book, or rather more about the potential relationship between him and Jeana. He is a very cute character, and he seems still really young. He does fit with Jaena, who also seems really new to the world. We learnt more about Detective Smith, even though he should be out of the book series relatively soon.

This was an ok book, however, it could have been much better.

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After a horrible review that was left online about their doughnuts leads Heather and Amy to Salem. The day after arriving, their customer is found dead and they find themselves on the top of the suspect list. They must now look into the mystery to clear their names before they get put in jail for something they didn’t do.

I always love when the team are travelling and not in their hometown and are wrapped in the middle of another murder mystery. As it is situated in Salem, we get to see the team work with Psychics, I kinda wanted there to be witches but there isn’t any in this book. I will say that the story wasn’t that straightforward so it was interesting, however, I did have the guess really early on, and it was correct. However, if you don’t pay attention, then until Heather’s explanation it would be difficult to figure out.

I really enjoyed seeing Maricela again in this book, it has been too long. It was also fun to see Maricela as the logical mind next to Amy who believes in psychics and all that jazz. Similarly to in previous books, Heather and Maricela work really well together, almost better than with Amy. It was also interesting to see Heather giving Maricela adv about her relationship with Jung. It made them more relatable as characters, as this book series seems to have the monopoly on happy couples.

All in all this was a fun little book to read.

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This is Ryan’s first case on the force and he’s out to prove himself. So Heather tries to step back, however, when he gets too stuck he brings Heather in for her ‘baking’ knowledge. Heather puts her sleuthing to work to try and figure out who would want to kill a cupcake baker. The only other creepy thing is how similar the kitchen of the two bakeries are.

The murder itself was really obvious about who the murder was, however, the reasoning behind it took a little longer to find out why. It was interesting getting into the motive for the murder. Though the reasoning is very convoluted reason for the murder, however, it was interesting. I enjoyed seeing Ryan and Heather working together on this case again.

Ryan is a much more interesting character while his working in comparison to when he’s moping around about not being all to work. I expected Peters’ character to become a little more active in this book, however, he is still in the back and this saddens me. He seems to be a very nice character that Gillard could play with but he’s still in the background of the story. So we finally get to meet Edna’s admirer and he’s really cute. I hope we see more of him in the future books as he seems to be an interesting character to add. Chief Chet is a little awkward when it comes to trying to tell Ryan what he wants him to do, I’m sure he will even out in the future.

This was a fun book and a good continuation of the series.

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Heather and Lilly are getting ready for Nick’s first visit to Key West, however, this Thanksgiving isn’t going to be as calm as they want it to be. After a horrible accident happened, killing a man, everyone thought it was just that. However, It takes a lot to make a deep-fried chicken explode. Heather and Ryan work together to find out if it was just an accident or if someone what trying to go after the poor man.

This story was a little confusing, I don’t know if it was supposed to be or if it was accidental. Regardless, it wasn’t very well structured if it was intentional, there wasn’t enough information that was given to the reader to make an educated guess about how the murderer was. It even felt like Heather was grasping at straws in the book. If you think about it enough out could guess the murderer but it’s all based on circumstantial evidence rather than concrete evidence, which I didn’t enjoy.

I was enjoyable to see Nick again, even though he wasn’t really in the book very much. What little he was in the book, it was nice to see his relationship with Lilly again after the last few books. We did get a little bit of the background to the victim’s family, however, since they were under investigation it wasn’t much of a surprise.Peters was still in the background and acted very much like a lost puppy where Jaena is concerned. I really want to know more about Peters, so hopefully, he won’t be another Jamie but we have yet to see.

Overall, it was an ok book.

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Jamie’s mobile pet grooming business is up and running. However, after his first day, he is left with a dog whose owner has gone missing. Ryan and Heather go looking for the owner and quickly find her dead. They now have to figure out who would want to kill the victim, and Jamie and Amy have to figure out what to do with the dog that is now in their possession.

Though I do like that Jamie is a larger part of this mystery than before, it was a little bit of an awkward start. The fact that Jamie was the one who initiated the search and no one taking it seriously made it a slow start. However, once it did start it fell right into the tropes that come with someone changing their identity. It was ok, however, a little predictable sadly. I did, however, like the use of DNA in this book. For once they use actual science and not just conjecture. It made it wrap up nicely in the end.

Like I said before, I enjoyed seeing Jamie in the book again. It was an integral part at the beginning. He is normally in the background, so it was nice to see him brought forward and used in a book for once. Amy seems to have calmed down in the book, however, it’s obvious that she still doesn’t like them. It’s just nice that her reactions are not as annoying as in the first few books where she was around bodies.

It was an ok book, however, it’s still not one of my favourites.


Oceanside Cozy Mysteries #1 – 5

Red Velvet, Dead Velvet (Sky High Pies Mysteries #3)

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Crescent Creek might seem like a quiet town, and on most days that is not wrong. However, when the head of the library comes to Kate with a suspicious letter addressed to the known scammer in town. Kate works through the death threat and finds out that there is much more going on that what it appears on the surface.

Well, this is a fun book. We get to see the budding relationship between Zack and Kate which is nice. I was afraid that they were going to see high school exes be put back together again. As fun Trent is, and they do make a nice pair, I am enjoying Kate getting to know Zack and starting her life over again in Crescent Creek.Well, this is a fun book. We get to see the budding relationship between Zack and Kate which is nice. I was afraid that they were going to see high school exes be put back together again. As fun Trent is, and they do make a nice pair, I am enjoying Kate getting to know Zack and starting her life over again in Crescent Creek.

I enjoy seeing Kate work as a PI even though she is adamant that she isn’t working as a PI but she has worked in the field for 10 years so it’s hard to break the habit. I also like how, though he doesn’t completely agree with it, Zack doesn’t try to change her. Though Trent does belly ache about Kate putting herself in danger, he also doesn’t try to change her but just asks her to be careful. He feels a lot more like an older brother than an Ex-boyfriend.

The mystery was interesting, as was the character development throughout. Though the victim was treated like one, he wasn’t all that innocent. We still felt for all of the characters, which I really like in a book.
Overall, this book was really enjoyable.


Chocolate Most Deadly (Sky High Pies Mysteries #2)
When Magic is Murder (Sky High Pies Mysteries #4)

Bakery Detectives Cozy Mystery Boxed Set: Books 1-6

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While trying to get her failing bakery back on its feet again, Rachel works her tail off at the street fair. However, when a local critic that gave her a bad review, she is now suspected of murder. This makes her financial woes even worst. She now needs to figure out who was actually behind the murder and clear her name.

After warming up to the crafting series I really wanted to like this book. I felt like this book was a little disjointed. We got relatively no background to the characters. We get a little background to Rachel but not enough to really connect. Pippa is a character that I wanted to love but we don’t get any meat to enjoy her as a person more than her weird talents.

The link between Rachel and the murder victim was strained a best. From what we find out about the victim anyone could have wanted to kill her.

This series had the possibility for a good start but it fell flat for me. Due to my enjoyment the other series I will read more of this series in hopes it gets better.

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After clearing her name, Rachel’s bakery is busier than ever. Rachel begins the process to expand the shop. However, the stories of a painting being haunted in the antique store next door has gotten Pippa in the tiff. After two murders in the antique shop next door, the deal is now up in the air. To calm Pippa’s nerves, Rachel is determined to prove to her that the killer is actually human and not the vengeful spirits that were trapped in the painting next door.

Ok, this book’s beginning is confusing. There was a murder before the book even starts that Rachel is thinking about. Also, Pippa seems to know she’s buying the shop next door before it was even mentioned in the book. This left me a little confused at first. After about chapter 4, everything evens out in the story.

We meet a new detective in this book who doesn’t really seem to fit in with the rest of the established characters. She even seems a little bland next Jackson who is supposed to be the stable character in this book.

If the mystery had a little more meat and maybe with a little more character development, this could have made an excellent book. I’m still hoping they get better.

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Rachel applies for a cooking show, however, when one of the judges turns up dead, the filming is pushed off indefinitely. Now they are looking at the director as the possible murderer. Just reaches out to Rachel, after knowing about her work in the past, to prove that he is not the killer. While working parallel investigations to the police, she tries to track down who actually killed Pierre.

There is a lot of things I don’t understand in this book, but let’s start with what I do like. Something happened while Pippa was away that works perfectly with her character. Though she isn’t completely fleshed out, getting swept up in a romance while on vacation is something she would totally do. I also like how there is a timeline so that we can follow the time progression in the story. It makes it feel like a murder isn’t happening every week.

Now, normally I complain about there being 2 love interests. Well, this book is different, there is only one, however, Jackson is currently dating his partner. Racheal is my age, 28, and if the guy you like is dating someone else, you don’t have to like it but at least don’t be petty about it. Jackson does point it out in the book, so I liked that however, it still annoyed throughout the book.

The mystery was interesting, as well as the expansion of the world and addition of new characters. I almost feel though that some of the new characters feel more fleshed out then the main characters.

I enjoyed this book far more than the previous books. I hope this series is finally on an upward swing finally.

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After everything that has happened back in town, Pippa and Rachel finally take some to themselves. Rachel booked the time away to understand and come to terms with everything that has happened in the last year. While away, the head chef was found dead from an apparent accident. Now Rachel is embroiled in yet another mystery, and she is trying to get the local Rangers to take the murder seriously before she leaves to go back home.

Out of all the books so far I would say that this was the best one by far. We get some character development for Pippa and Rachel which was nice. Though 4 books into the series is a little late for my liking. Rachel feels a little more fleshed out thanks to their “girls only” vacation. They expanded past their romantic affiliations which were nice.

The mystery this time was interesting and could have gone many different ways at any point in the story. I don’t know if the actual murderer makes much sense, but it wasn’t terrible. I’m also not sure if the murderer at the end of the book was the intended murderer, but it worked.

I enjoyed how the world was expanded as Rachel and Pippa were in another town, and we got to hear about another town in the area. We also got to learn a lot more about the secondary characters in this book, this allows the reader to become more invested in the story as they can relate to the characters.

This was actually a fairly enjoyable book. I’m really happy that I’m still sticking with this series.

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The business is not doing very well, however, Pippa has an excellent idea: Catering. While catering an event, Jackson comes to see Rachel to as an important question. Suddenly, Rachel is catering Jackson’s and Emma’s wedding. When Emma’s aunt is found dead and Emma is missing, Jackson and Rachel work together to find out who the killer is.

I actually really enjoyed this book. Out of the previous books, I’d say this was the best. I feel like Alabaster is really getting into her stride with this book. Rachel and Jackson grow into characters that we can connect with. They are much more three dimensional in this book than the previous ones. Jackson and Rachel spend quite a bit of time in this book, and it’s almost reminiscent of the 2nd book but better. Though Emma, as a character, doesn’t really make much of an appearance in this book, she is speaking about quite a bit. She gets more of a back story in this

The mystery this time was really interesting. As the case involves Emma’s family, Jackson has to keep Rachel with him to leave the distance between him and the case. The case becomes very personal for them both, but Rachel manages to keep a level head during the course of the investigation.

I don’t like a couple of things that happen between Jackson and Rachel throughout the book. It just seemed so out of character for the two… Ok maybe no out of character for Rachel as she’s been pinning away after Jackson, but it is really out of character for Jackson.

Overall I still really enjoyed the book.

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With Pippa off sick from work, Rachel’s newest employee has to fill in. When a woman is killed mysteriously in her bakery, Rachel is now under suspicion for murder. Without being able to work with Pippa on this case, Rachel must find out who murdered the woman and how they got the poison in the food at the bakery.

After the last book, I was super excited about this book. However, with Rachel being the prime suspect in this murder, which made little sense, the chemistry between Jackson and Rachel is back to zero. With Pippa acting like an entitled child for most of the book, that was even gone. Like, under the circumstances I get being touchy, but it was a little much. To replace Pippa we have Chloe, who is a fine cookie cutter character who’s good at research, however, she feels like a placeholder throughout the book.

The mystery was a little interesting, I didn’t figure out who the murderer was until nearer to the end of the book. If only everything else in this book was better.

This book was not the best and I wished they had continued with the character development.

Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen #9)

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The tri-city fair is in town and Hannah has been roped into judging the bake-off after Edna hurt her arm. But, no matter where Hannah goes, tragedy is bound to follow. When Willa Sunquist is found dead, Hannah adds finding her murder to her ever growing to do list. The list contains, figure out which guy to marry, figure out why Moishe isn’t eating and helping Herb with his magic show. Just another week in the life of Hannah Swensen really.

Hannah is slowly starting to lean towards Norman as he husband until Mike blindsides her. Though I snuck a peak at the future, Norman is so sweet in this book and there is more growth in their relationship than with mike this book. the description of the fair was dead on and makes me want summer to come so I can go to the local fair. Though it’s really easy to figure out who killed Willa it’s really fun watching it go down. I kinda wish there was more character development on Michelle though because she’s just a placeholder right now but I would love to have more information about her as a person.


Cherry Cheesecake Murder (Hannah Swensen #8)
Candy Cane Murder (Hannah Swensen #9.5)

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #4)

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Hannah’s youngest sister, Michelle is back home for the holidays and the family is hoping for a nice quiet Christmas. That goes up in flames when Delores finds the body of one of the local residences in the basement of Norman’s newly acquired house. The only clue was one of Hannah’s lemon meringue pies with only 1 piece eaten. Though Hannah tries to stay away from investigating the murder everyone, even her mother, pulls her back into her investigation in order to solve the mystery of the poor woman’s death.

This is a very fun book, however, I did figure out who that killer was 1/2 through the book so that is the only part I didn’t like. The characters are growing nicely in this book. We are starting to see the merits of each of the 2 men that Hannah is dating, now that they have ironed out that they 2 men are jealous of each other. Though this series is very long, I am looking forward to how the relationships continue to evolve in the future. I’m hoping that this series goes the way of the Stephanie Plum series, where the relationships continue to be developed 28 books down the line. This book is worth the read.


Blueberry Muffin Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #3)
Fudge Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #5)