Tag Archives: Cozy Mysteries

Cat Nap (A Sunny & Shadow Mystery Book 2), by Claire Donally

Cat Nap (A Sunny & Shadow Mystery Book 2) by [Donally, Claire]

In A Nutshell

Title:  Cat Nap (A Sunny & Shadow Mystery Book 2)

Author:  Claire Donally

Publisher:  Penguin

Date of Release:  May 7, 2013

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Source:  Purchased

Rating: 3 Nuts out of 5

I’ve had this title on my wish list for a few months. Frankly, there were a few others I planned to read first, but my cat walked across my keyboard and ordered it. I think she’s figured out that if I’m reading, I’m likely in a position where she can crawl onto my lap and take a cat nap of her own, or maybe not. At any rate, she has good taste.

This is another enjoyable cozy mystery from Claire Donally. This time the ex of Sunny’s rival for Will’s affection gets bumped off. There’s plenty of suspects in the murder of this unethical veterinarian and womanizer, plenty of twists and turns and plenty of action for both Sunny and her cat, Shadow.

Great characters, well-written and a real page turner.

Have a great week!

Susan

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Cat Shout for Joy: A Joe Grey Mystery

Cat Shout for Joy: A Joe Grey Mystery (Joe Grey Mystery Series) by [Murphy, Shirley Rousseau]

In a Nutshell

Title:  Cat Shout For Joy

Author: Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Publisher:  William Morrow

Date of Release:  February 23, 2016

Genre:  Cozy Mystery/Fantasy

Source:  Purchased

Rating:  5 out of 5 Nuts

It’s been ages since I read a Joe Grey Mystery. Somehow I was under the impression Shirley Rousseau Murphy was no longer writing them. I am thrilled to announce I was wrong. As a result, I’ve spent the last weekend in Molena Point with Joe Grey, Dulcie, Kit, Pan and Misto, plus a host of wonderful people who support these crime-fighting, talking cats. Of course, that means I had to put with thugs who were coshing the heads of residents of Molena Point.

Along the way, Kit and Pan return from an adventure in the magical lands, the aged Misto passes away and Dulcie and Joe have kittens, who may also have the ability to speak – we’ll have to wait for the next installment.  They’re doing all this while solving the mystery of the assaults and murders of their town’s residents. But there’s a hint in this book, that Max, the police chief, may have figured out their secret and may know who his telephonic snitches may be.

I’ve found the Joe Grey books to be well-written, fast-paced, plenty of excitement with great characters and this one was no different. I love it when I can get totally absorbed in a story and I got totally absorbed in this one. In fact, three-quarters of the way through, I lost my Kindle. I can’t find it anywhere. So I had to download the program to my computer so I could finish the book. This is probably a good thing, because I still haven’t found my Kindle!

I highly recommend.

Have a great week!

Susan

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Death of a Dapper Snowman, by Angela Pepper

 

In a Nutshell

Title:  Death of a Dapper Snowman (Stormy Day Mystery Book 1)

Author:  Angela Pepper

Publisher:   Amazon Digital Services

Date of Release:  November 21, 2014

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Source: Purchased (the Kindle edition is free as of this writing)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The cat made me buy it! I love the cat on the cover and it depicts the character of Jeffrey well! But more than that, this cozy is a fun escape into a small community with some eccentric characters, including the protagonist Stormy Day.

It’s fast-paced with great action and a cool cat. It’s the first of the series so there’s some characters that pop in and have little to do with the story, but I couldn’t help but think they’ll pop up in a future installment.

Have a great weekend!

Susan

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For Whom the Bread Rolls: A Pancake House Mystery, by Sarah Fox

In A Nutshell

Title:  For Whom the Bread Rolls: A Pancake House Mystery

Author:  Sarah Fox

Publisher:  Random House Publishing Group – Alibi

Date of Release:  March 14, 2017 – Coming Soon!

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Source:  The publisher provided a digital galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Rating:  3 Stars out of 5

It seems like just yesterday I reviewed Sarah Fox’s first entry into this series, The Crêpes of Wrath. She’s already written the second in the series, For Whom the Bread Rolls. This time Marley must prove she didn’t kill the pancake house troublemaker, Ida. It seems like just about every series has at least 0ne story line that includes that scenario. (Although I don’t remember one with Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot.)

My favorite part was that Flapjack, the cat, plays a much bigger role in this book. I hope that continues. Marley’s relationship with Brett continues to florish. There’s even a new animal character, dog Bentley. My least favorite part was the lack of snappy dialogue between the characters. I came away from this one with the feeling the characters are terribly dull. At about 25% of the way through the book she meats with a good friend:

“How are things going?” I asked as Leigh headed for the kitchen.

“Great,” Lisa replied, tucking her dark hair behind one ear. “Especially since you’ve got air-conditioning in here.”

Fox has great skill in developing a story, there’s plenty of twists and turns, but the characters in this one are a little wooden. (Remember in my last review, I really liked the characterization of the people in the diner? Yeah, more of that – please.)

Have a great week and check out my brand new blog on Minimalism and my adventures in getting more from less – thesheepishminimalist.com!

Susan

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All-Butter Short Dead, by H. Y. Hanna

All-Butter ShortDead (Prequel: Oxford Tearoom Mysteries ~ Book 0) by [Hanna, H.Y.]

In A Nutshell

Title:  All-Butter Short Dead: Oxford Tearoom Mystery – Prequel

Author:  H. Y. Hanna

Publisher:  Wisheart Press

Date of Release:  July 28, 2016

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller, Cozy Mystery

Source:  Amazon – as of this writing (11/1/16) it is free for the digital version on that site

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

All of my life I’ve heard – “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” No matter. If the cover art is intriguing, I’m probably going to pick up the book. This series is no exception. I have a couple of them in my Kindle because I love the cat on the cover and the description sounded interesting. Those of you who have been reading my reviews for a while know I like to start at the beginning of a series.  Then I find that the prequel has recently been released (with that cute cat on the cover) and that I can get it for my Kindle for free, no strings attached. Done deal.

Fortunately, the book lives up to its cover. It even has a cute cat character, Muesli. More importantly, there’s a great main character, Gemma Rose, who purchases (not inherits) an old building to turn into a tearoom in Oxford, England. She has a proverbial sidekick/best friend, Cassie, but in an interesting twist she has the four Biddies help her with mysteries and a handyman/baker to help with the tearoom. The four Biddies offer some wonderful comic relief and a great deal of help. In the prequel they help solve the mystery of the murder of a woman who sat next to Gemma on the flight from Australia – and just in the nick of time as the fact Gemma was suspect was holding up her loan for the tearoom.

This is a great introduction to a new-to-me series. Four out of five stars.

And even though it’s already Tuesday – have a great week!

Susan

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Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency, by Susan Breen

In a Nutshell

Title:  Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency

Author:  Susan Breen

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller/Cozy Mystery

Publisher:  Random House – Alibi

Date of Release:  November 8, 2016

Source:  A digital galley proof was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Not long ago I reviewed the first book of this series, Maggie Dove. Now the second will be released in a few short weeks. I enjoyed the first book and this one is equally well done. Now Maggie has a detective agency with two characters from Book 1 and we learn more about the main characters, not all of it positive. The detective agency is struggling and Maggie starts out by turning down a wealthy client. She goes back and picks up the case, a wonderful tale of good and evil in a family. It’s an ideal case for Sunday School teacher, Maggie.

A note to those who aren’t into Christian literature/books – this isn’t one of them. While Maggie is a Sunday School teacher and her faith seems to aid her, her religion is not the focus of the story. For example, during the course of her investigation, she goes to a Wiccan bookstore and spell shop and considers getting herbs to cast a spell on her cranky cat.

There are plenty of twists and turns as Maggie gives her all to help her wealthy client and she unearths some of the secrets of her small town on the Hudson River in New York. This is a great book. I read the whole thing on a flight to Phoenix and made the trip go so quickly!

I highly recommend this series and this book. (Remember it will be released November 8.)

Have a good week!

Susan

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A Story to Kill, by Lynn Cahoon

In A Nutshell

Title:  A Story to Kill: A Cat Latimer Mystery

Author:  Lynn Cahoon

Publisher:  Kensington Books

Date of Release:  August 30, 2016

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Source:  The publisher has provided me with a digital galley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I love reading the first book of a series. Not only do I like to read the books in order, I enjoy examining how writers introduce characters. This book allowed me to do both. I’ve also read other books by Lynn Cahoon and enjoyed them, but really like this one more than the others. While this one has the same great writing, I identified a little more closing with the main character Cat Latimer as she is a bit older than the protagonists in the other Cahoon books I’ve read.

On of my pet peeves with cozy mysteries, especially the more modern ones, is that the set up is usually very contrived. So how many people do you know that have inherited a beautiful home from a relative that is ideal for whatever business the main character wants to go into or better yet, the deceased has the business all set up for the protagonist?  This one is similar, but a bit more believable – Cat’s ex left her the house they lived in as a couple. She turns it into a writers’ retreat – after all she is a writer.  Unfortunately, at her first retreat the celebrity author is murdered. There’s quite a few twists and turns before it’s all worked out and the ending sets the reader up in the perfect place to ready the next one in the series.

So – great main character, super sidekick, interesting love interest, intriguing murder makes a a wonderful first entry into a new cozy mystery series.

4 stars out of 5.

Have a great weekend!

Susan

PS: Stay tuned for my new website on minimalism – coming soon! (I’d give you the address – but all it says right now is Coming Soon!)

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