Saturday, January 13, 2018

Scone Cold Killer

Author:  Lena Gregory
Series:  All Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Lyrical Underground
Publication Date:  January 23, 2018

Description:  When Gia Morelli’s marriage falls apart, she knows it’s time to get out of New York. Her husband was a scam artist who swindled half the millionaires in town, and she doesn’t want to be there when they decide to take revenge. On the spur of the moment, she follows her best friend to a small town in Central Florida, where she braves snakes, bears, and giant spiders to open a cheery little diner called the All-Day Breakfast CafĂ©. Owning a restaurant has been her lifelong dream, but it turns into a nightmare the morning she opens her dumpster and finds her ex-husband crammed inside. As the suspect du jour, Gia will have to scramble fast to prove her innocence before a killer orders another cup of murder.

My Review

This is the first book in a new series for author Lena Gregory and I found it to be a fun, fast-paced, very enjoyable cozy mystery. The book was well written with a pace that kept me turning the pages. For me, Gia Morelli was a likable character.  There were some reviews from readers who thought her fears made her unsympathetic, but having an "irrational" fear of my own, I could relate. Gia is surround by a cast of diverse and likable secondary characters along with a loveable puppy named Thor.  I thought the author did a good job of showing some growth in Gia's character through this book.  She was through something traumatic, which made her gun shy about strangers and new places.  I thought that by the end of the story she had made some progress in starting to put her past behind her.  There is even a hint of some romance in her future.

Trying to start over, Gia moves to Florida, where her troubles follow. That is the basis of a mystery that I thought was solid and woven nicely throughout the story.   Because Gia was new to Florida and given what she went through with her husband, there was plenty of room for the author to drop hints and clues about who could be the killer.  I think the mystery wrapped up nicely.

I think this is a terrific start to what I hope is a long running series for this author. I will be back for the next book to see what the author has in store for her readers.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Lyrical Underground, through Netgalley.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Another One Bites The Crust

Author:  Ellie Alexander
Series:  A Bakeshop Mystery #7
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publication Date:  January 2, 2018

Description:  It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead. Jules knows that Lance loves his drama—and his just desserts—but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it’s up to Jules to cut through a bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets—before the curtain drops on someone else. . .

My Review

Another One Bites The Crust is the 7th installment of the Bakeshop Mystery series.  Fans of this series are going to enjoy this installment as much as the previous books.  It is always fun to return to Ashland and Torte Bakery to see what Juliet, Lance, the Professor and her Mom are up to.  In addition, the reader is always treated to mouthwatering descriptions of pastries, cookies, cakes and other delicious food served up at Torte.  It's enough to satisfy the culinary cozy lover.

What keeps me coming back to this series is the characters.  Jules Capshaw is a delight.  She has a warm personality that comes right off the page.  She is genuine, charming, determined and a loyal friend.  This time around, she is called upon to help Lance out of trouble.  With each new book these characters continue to grow and develop.  We get a glimpse of the layers that are peeled back and learn something new or are teased with some secret.  

For me, I have found that the mysteries in this series are not  as strong as others and often play a backseat to the characters and their relationships.  But as I said, the characters are so wonderful they keep me coming back.  In this book, I thought the mystery was a bit stronger than in the past and was woven throughout the story.  

If you are a fan of this series, or just love strong character driven cozy mysteries then you will probably enjoy this one.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy that was provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley.