Saturday, March 17, 2018

Lethal In Old Lace

Author:  Duffy Brown
Series:  A Consignment Shop Mystery #5
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date:  March 13, 2018

Description:  There are two social functions in Savannah guaranteed to get people talking: weddings and funerals. And just as consignment shop owner Reagan Summerside agrees to marry the hunky Walker Boone, her neighbors, sisters Annie Fritz and Elsie Abbot, step up their business as professional mourners. They are so successful that the Sleepy Pines Retirement Center has hired them as a part of their retirement package. But the celebration over good business is cut short when the residents at Pines suddenly begin dying at an alarming rate. And the sisters are the first suspects.

My Review

I will start out by saying I love this series and I am so happy to have a new installment. It has been awhile since the last book because the author changed publishers.  When I opened the first page and began to read, it felt like coming home to visit old friends.

Opening a Consignment Shop mystery by Duffy Brown is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, brighten your day and keep you entertained. This series, in my opinion, has some of the best characters in the cozy mystery genre. The characters are all well written, have depth, wit and humor.  Reagan, Aunt Kiki and the Judge just depict what I imagine of modern southern women - intelligence, wit, style, humor and charm.  And as the cherry on top of the sundae, we get what I think most readers were hoping for - a wedding between Boone Walker and Reagan.  Let's face it, Boone Walker is the perfect husband for Reagan; he has the patience for her sleuthing along with its trouble and has the skill to spring her from jail when/if needed.  The perfect qualities in a husband for Reagan Summerside.

The mystery is well crafted with plenty of suspects to choose from as well as twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Even though Reagan has sworn off any more dead bodies now that she is engaged, the corpses didn't get the message and once again she sets out to save some beloved friends.  There are plenty of suspects to choose from as well as potential new victims - especially once Aunt Kiki checks into Sleepy Pines.  The story is fast paced and keeps the reader on their toes with a climatic ending that will cement Bruce Willis as the perfect dog for Reagan and Boone.

If you are a fan of this author and/or series, don't miss this book. You will not be disappointed.  I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, through Netgalley. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Who Moved My Goat Cheese?

Author:  Lynn Cahoon
Series:  A Farm-to-Fork Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Lyrical Underground
Publication Date:  March 6, 2018

Description:  Angie Turner hopes her new farm-to-table restaurant can be a fresh start in her old hometown in rural Idaho. But when a goat dairy farmer is murdered, Angie must turn the tables on a bleating black sheep . . .
With three weeks until opening night for their restaurant, the County Seat, Angie and her best friend and business partner Felicia are scrambling to line up local vendors—from the farmer's market to the goat dairy farm of Old Man Moss. Fortunately, the cantankerous Moss takes a shine to Angie, as does his kid goat Precious. So when Angie hears the bloodcurdling news of foul play at the dairy farm, she jumps in to mind the man's livestock and help solve the murder. One thing's for sure, there's no whey Angie's going to let some killer get her goat.

My Review

This is the first in a new series for author Lynn Cahoon.  There are several reason I picked up this book.  First, who could resist the title and the terrific cover.  Second, I loved the premise as farm to table is a big trend in areas of the state I live in.  Finally, while I discovered this author only recently through her Cat Latimer Mystery Series, I have become of a fan of her books and storytelling.

This is a wonderful start to this new series.  I loved the fresh premise on the culinary cozy mystery - farm to table.  This is a popular trend in the northern part of the state where I live.  In this story we meet Angie and her friend Felicia who are getting ready to open their new farm to table restaurant in Idaho town where Angie lived with her grandmother as a teenager.   I enjoyed Angie's characters.  She came across the page as independent, kind and focused on making the restaurant a success.  Her friend Felicia appears to be the more outgoing  of the two on the social side, but just as hard working and focused on her professional success.  I hope we get more of her backstory as the series unfolds.  In additional there are a cast of secondary characters, including neighbors, town people, a dog and a baby goat that round out the cast nicely.

While at the farmers market to find local vendor for her restaurant, Angie meets Mr. Moss who makes goat cheese.  Unfortunately, he is murdered and Angie is drawn into solving he mystery.  Mr. Moss is very curmudgeonly and liked by many of the town people, so when his death is determined to be by foul play, Angie feels like she needs to help.  Mr. Moss had plenty of secrets which come out as Angie searches for his killer.  The author keeps a steady pace to the story and while I did guess the killer's identity before the reveal, it was done in a climatic fashion that wrapped up the story nicely.

I am a fan of this authors writing and this book is a delightful start to a new series.  It has a fresh take on the culinary cozy theme and is peppered with interesting characters and a solid mystery.

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

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Lethal Licorice

Author:  Amanda Flower
Series:  An Amish Candy Shop Mystery #2
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  February 27, 2018

Description:  Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .
A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder. 

My Review

I am a huge fan of author Amanda Flower.  I don't think I have read a series yet that I haven't loved.  When I pick up a book by this author I know that I am going to be taken on a adventure that will leave me entertained and eager to return to the fictional world she has created.  The Amish Candy Shop Mystery series is no exception. 

Bailey King is trying to learn how to fit in to two worlds, Amish and English, while helping her grandmother run the candy shop.  This books picks up shortly after the first, so Bailey and her grandmother are still mourning the loss of her grandfather.  The last think she needs is another dead body.  Unfortunately for Bailey, she is there when another one is found.

What I love about Amanda Flower is that she provides her readers with the total package.  Her characters are genuine, authentic, and well developed. These are people a reader can easily relate to and care about.  The settings are charming and come to life through her descriptions.  The plot is fast paced, and the mystery is woven nicely through the story.  The deceased was not well liked, even in the Amish community, so the suspect pool is plentiful.  There are some nice twist and turns to divert the readers attention.  I was surprised by how the mystery wrapped up.  There is even a bit of a possible romance brewing for Bailey.  We will just have to see how things go.

I voluntarily read an advanced review copy provided to me by the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley.  I will definitely be back to read the next book in the series.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

I Know What You Bid Last Summer

Author:  Sherry Harris
Series:  A Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery #5
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  February 27, 2018

Description:  When it comes to running a successful garage sale, Sarah Winston believes in doing her homework. She also believes in giving back. But when she agrees to manage an athletic equipment swap, she doesn't bargain on an uncharitable killer. The day of the event, the school superintendent is found dead in the gymnasium. 

Suddenly the murder suspects are the school board members—including the husband of a very difficult client who's hired Sarah to run a high-end sale and demands she do her bidding. In between tagging and haggling, Sarah studies the clues to see who wanted to teach the superintendent a lesson. But as she closes in on the truth, the killer intends to give her a crash course on minding her own business.

My Review

This is the fifth book in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series and each book continues to be just as entertaining as the last.  I love the premise because it is not one that is common for cozy mysteries. 

Who knew that you could get into so much trouble with garage sales. Unfortunately for Sarah, trouble just seems to continue to find her. This time around she is organizing a sports equipment swap for the local school when the trouble begins.  Sarah is attacked while organizing the items and so begins a series of mishaps that includes murder and attempted murder. Once again, Sarah is asked to help an innocent person clear their name. With the help of her friends, old and new, she uncovers clues, with plenty of twists and turns thrown in, that lead her to uncover the killer's identity in a dramatic fashion.

I think Sarah is a fun main characters. She is surrounded by a terrific cast of secondary characters that no only support her, but often times join in her attempts to solve the cases. I also liked that we get to see her deal with being on her own and not in a relationship. It was nice to see her find her inner strength and move on with her life.  I'm not sure where the author plans to take an future romances for Sarah, but I think this book definitely shows this character can stand on her own.

The mystery was well written.  Sherry Harris always weaves an engaging mystery that flows through the entire book.  Add to that a plot with a steady pace and readers will by turning pages trying to see if they can guess the killer's identity.  I was surprised when the culprit's identity was revealed as this person was no where on my radar.  One would think by this point I would get better at getting to the bottom of a mystery, but right or wrong, half the fun is testing your own amateur sleuthing ability.  Let's just say I am no Nancy Drew.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley. I will definitely be back to see what the next garage sale has in store for Sarah.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Cat of the Baskervilles

Author:  Vicki Delany
Series: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #3
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date:  February 13, 2018

Description:  The show is coming to town on Cape Cod. The West London Theater Festival is putting on a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Gemma Doyle is excited and participating with her friend Jayne Wilson, whose mother, Leslie, just happens to be volunteering with the company. Leslie arranges a fundraising tea party at the home of the festival organizer, catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a rousing success, but Sir Nigel Bellingham, the famous star cast as the lead of Sherlock, goes missing. And Gemma finds him at the bottom of the cliff. Dead.

Before the tea, Sir Nigel had come by the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, only for Gemma to realize that he’s not at all suited to the role. But as Gemma and Jayne investigate, the list of suspects just grows longer. Long past his prime, Sir Nigel was second to a younger actor who had first been given the role. The festival’s executive director also expressed that he had been hired over her objections. Then there are the slew of people to whom Sir Nigel was rude. They all have motive, but then a scrap of Leslie’s apron caught on a bush by Sir Nigel’s body is found. And the police are set to pounce as she becomes suspect #1.

My Review

I was hooked on this series right from the first book.  This third book in the series will not disappoint fans.  This time, we head back to West London in Cape Cod to find Jayne's mom as the suspect in a murder investigation.

Gemma is one of those characters that just grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go.  From the very first book I thought she was quite unique and that is fine with me because it sets her apart from other main characters.  She is supported by a great cast of secondary characters that are fun, interesting and what I like best is that they accept her but try to soften her edges without changing her too much.  We also get a glimpse into her struggling feelings about Ryan and where they stand with each other.  

The mystery was well done.  The victim was not too terribly well like so this allowed the author to provide the readers with plenty of suspect and clues while the game was afoot.  There were plenty of plausible motives for the murder which of course meant that I fell for all the twists and turns trying to determine who was ultimately responsible for committing the crime.  Alas, I am no Sherlock Holmes and was not successful.  However, I thought the mystery was wrapped up nicely with a believable suspect and a motive that was logical and rationale.

For me, each new book in this series is always an adventure.  I love the characters and Gemma's uniqueness.  The story keeps me engaged and the mysteries are well crafted to keep the reader guessing.  I will definitely be back for more of Gemma and the rest of the cast.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, through Netgalley.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Class Reunions Are Murder

Author:  Libby Klein
Series:  A Poppy McAllister Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  January 30, 2018

Description:  Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion—especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event . . . 
Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. And worse, that her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker. Singled out as the killer, it’s up to Poppy to confront her past and clear her name. But between protecting her aunt from disaster and tackling a gluten-free diet, can Poppy crack the case before she’s voted “Most Likely to Die” by the murderer?

My Review

It seems that I have been taking a chance on a lot of first in a new series cozy mysteries lately.  Unfortunately not all of them have met my expectations.  This first book in the Poppy McAllister Mystery Series by Libby Klein was a refreshing change from that pattern.

I liked the premise of this story from the blurb.  For me, it was a nice change in pace from the other cozies I have read.  I think everyone can relate to what they feel when being invited to a class reunion.  I tend to react the same as Poppy did.

I thought Poppy McAllister was a good, solid main character.  She is sympathetic and relatable, especially for me.  I was never in the popular click in high school and have always been on the heavy side with respect to my weight, so I could really sympathize with Poppy in those areas, especially when it comes to clothes shopping.  I thought the author did a good job of showing growth in Poppy as the story progressed.  Poppy finally takes a stand and decides to make some changes that will positively impact her life.  The secondary cast includes some of Poppy's high school friends, her Aunt Ginny (who provides great humor) and her cat Figaro who will have the reader laughing.  The author provides good dialogue filled with humor, some of it the self deprecating kind where Poppy is concerned.

The murder occurs near the beginning of the story and the victim of course is the woman who was the mean popular girl in high school.  This give the author the ability to provide the reader with plenty of suspect to choose from while weaving in clues along with twists and turns.  I enjoyed that Poppy was not instantly good at being a sleuth.  She had some false starts and looked at the wrong suspects. I thought the story wrapped up nicely, with a hint at a future romance for Poppy and this is a series that I think I will continue to follow.

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

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Survival of the Fritters

Author:  Ginger Bolton
Series:  Deputy Donut Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  January 30, 2018

Description:  If Emily has learned anything from her past as a 911 operator, it’s to stay calm during stressful situations. But that’s a tall order when one of her regulars, Georgia Treetor, goes missing. Georgia never skips morning cappuccinos with her knitting circle. Her pals fear the worst—especially Lois, a close friend who recently moved to town. As evening creeps in, Emily and the ladies search for Georgia at home. And they find her—murdered among a scattering of stale donuts . . .

Disturbingly, Georgia’s demise coincides with the five-year anniversary of her son’s murder, a case Emily’s late detective husband failed to solve before his own sudden death. With Lois hiding secrets and an innocent man’s life at stake, Emily’s forced to revisit painful memories on her quest for answers. Though someone’s alibi is full of holes, only a sprinkling of clues have been left behind. And if Emily can’t trace them back to a killer in time, her donut shop will end up permanently closed for business. 

My Review

Ginger Bolton is a new to me author and this is the first book in her new Deputy Donut Mystery. I found this to be a fun, easy read with a steady pace that had me turning pages. 

Emily Westhill is a sympathetic, likable main characters. She is a widow still trying to find her footing after the death of her police officer husband a few years earlier. She comes across, at least to me caring and genuine. There is an interesting cast of secondary characters, including her two best friends, her father in law, and Deputy Donut - her cat that is the inspiration for the name of her donut shop.  These characters round out the story nicely. This is a first book in a new series, so I am looking forward to seeing all the characters develop and grow as well as learn more about their history.  

I thought the mystery was well done.   It is woven throughout the entire story and the author does a good job of keeping it in the forefront along with the characters.  There are clues, twists and turns sprinkled throughout the story and done well enough to throw the reader off the trail of the real killer.  I was surprised by the identity of the killer which was revealed in a rather climatic fashion. There is also the hint of a potential future romance down the road for Emily if she is willing to take the chance.  In addition, there are some really delicious sounding recipes for donuts included at the end.

All in all, I thought this was a good start for this author and her new series.  The characters, story and mystery were solid and entertaining.  I will be checking back into Fallingbrook Wisconsin to see what this author has in store for the next book.  

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Murder Borrowed, Murder Blue

Author:  Stephanie Blackmoore
Series:  A Wedding Planner Mystery #3
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  January 30, 2018

Description:  Actress Dakota Craig is set to tie the knot with her famous musician boyfriend at Mallory’s Pennsylvania B&B on the most romantic day of the year. Best of all, the whole thing will air on the reality TV show I Do. But the maid of honor has dropped out of the wedding party—by dropping dead. 
A lot of people insist the show must go on, so Mallory’s investigation keeps getting sidetracked by everything from a meddling mother to a foot of snow to a side project making arrangements for a high school Winter Ball. But if she doesn’t catch the noxious culprit, the bride might wind up with a funeral wreath instead of a bouquet.

My Review

This is the third book in the Wedding Planner Mystery series by this author.  Having read all of the books to date, I think fans of this series fill find this installment to be very enjoyable.  I found this book to be a whirlwind read that will keep readers turning the pages to discover the killer's identity.   

One of the things that I enjoy about this series, and have since the very first book, is the relationship between the sisters - Mallory and Rachel.  Having a sister myself, I can relate to their relationship and some of the growing pains and the triumphs.  Both are terrific characters and because they are so different, they complement each other.  It makes for a good balance between them with the usual sibling tension thrown into the mix.  The regular cast of secondary characters make a return along with some new one. 

The mystery was really engaging.  There is a lot happening and I was glued to the pages trying to figure out which one of the characters was the culprit.  The murder and other events in the present day are tied to a murder that occurred thirteen years prior.  Many of the suspects in the current murder are in one way or another linked to the past murder.  I thought this made for plenty of plausible suspects and definitely plenty of twists.  The number of possible suspects gave the author the opportunity to plant clues that could implicate one or more of the suspects so I was always on my toes.  I didn't guess the culprit and was surprised by the identity.  The reveal came with a very dramatic conclusion to a mystery that had Mallory in jeopardy more than once.

I very much enjoy this series and thought this book was highly entertaining.  The characters are well written, the plot was fast paced and the mystery engaging.  I will definitely be back to see what Mallory and Rachel have in store for them with the next wedding they plan.

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

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Biscuits and Slashed Browns

Author:  Maddie Day
Series:  A Country Store Mystery #4
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  January 30, 2018

Description:  As Robbie arranges a breakfast-themed cook-off at Pans ‘N Pancakes, visitors pour into Brown County for the annual maple extravaganza. Unfortunately, that includes Professor Connolly, a know-it-all academic from Boston who makes enemies everywhere he goes—and this time, bad manners prove deadly. Soon after clashing with several scientists at a maple tree panel, the professor is found dead outside a sugar shack, stabbed to death by a local restaurateur’s knife. When an innocent woman gets dragged into the investigation and a biologist mysteriously disappears, Robbie drops her winning maple biscuits to search for answers. But can she help police crack the case before another victim is caught in a sticky situation with a killer?

My Review

This is the fourth book in the Country Store Mystery series by Maddie Day and I continue to enjoy each new book as much as the previous one.  Set in the Midwest, which is where I am from, I find this series to be an easy, fun read.

The main character, Robbie Jordan, is a terrific heroine for this cozy mystery series.  Still settling in after moving from California, Robbie continues to grow and develop as a character.  She is smart, caring, independent and can get herself into trouble without much effort.  The regular cast of secondary characters make their appearances as well.  The characters are enhanced by a charming Midwest setting and some terrific local dialect thrown in the dialogue between the characters.  

The mystery itself was engaging.  The victim was not well liked by his professional peers, so this allowed the author to provide her readers with plenty of suspects to choose from.  Once again, Robbie is drawn into a murder to help someone she knows who is involved with the investigation.  This time, there are a couple of people she knows that are suspects.  The author did a great job of weaving in clues, twists and turns to try and throw the reader's attention off the real killer.  I had a suspicion about the identity of the killer but it did not diminish my enjoyment (as most of you know - I'm rarely right in my guesses so odds were good I was wrong).  The mystery wound up with a climatic ending that leaves this reader hoping Robbie doesn't have any more of these close calls.

This is a wonderful culinary cozy mystery series with great characters, terrific local dialect, a charming setting and an engaging mystery.  I am looking forward to book five in the series when we Robbie's dad comes for a visit.

I voluntarily read a advanced reader copy provided to me by the publisher, Kensington, through Netgalley.

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.