Interludes of Mystery

Mysterious Interludes

In October 2015, my job was outsourced. Because I prefer to read the “heavy” stuff while working/commuting, I’ve turned to the cyber-stack of cozy mysteries that have accumulated over the years.

For those who are interested, you should subscribe to the daily newsletter Pixel of Ink: Free and Bargain Kindle Books. The other way to find books is to go to Amazon, choose the sub-sub-genre of cozy mystery you want (in my case, cats), sort by price and you have a bunch of books at no cost to you. Many authors (even the pros) will offer a book in their series for at no cost in hopes to get you hooked on their series and yes, in more than a few cases, I’ve gotten hooked!

Below are the mysteries that I read during my time off from work in reverse order (earliest read on the bottom). In those cases where I’ve read a series, I gathered them together even though, that’s not exactly the order I read them.

Since my favorite cozy mysteries feature cats, I’ve rated them in Paws: 1 Paw (yuck! – so far, I’ve been lucky, haven’t read something that bad [uhm… that changed in April 2017]) to 5 Paws (you gotta read it!).

Note: Because I am not reading the books in the order they are presented here, any new reviews will be post-fixed with the date that I finished the book.

Note, Part Deux: My job at Frontier Communications only lasted 10 months because the company decided that they wanted to consolidate, so I’m back looking for a new job and reading mysteries. [04/18/2017]

Note, Part Tres: I am now working at Yahoo! and continuing to read mysteries, however, I am starting a new non-fiction medical book as my next read, so I won’t be reading any mysteries for the time being except for those that I requested from the library that become available. [06/25/2017]

Note, Part Quatre: My New Year’s Resolution for 2018 is to write up my reviews in a more timely manner; within days of completion not weeks or months. We’ll see how that goes. [01/01/2018]

Note, Part Six: Originally, I wasn’t going to review individual books from a series, but somehow, that’s not working out. So you’ll see a listing for a series, keep an eye out for possible additions to the series as individual reviews. [05/24/2018]

Note, Part Seven: It’s been a while since I posted a review. It’s not that I haven’t read books, it’s just that I had two months where the medication I was taking left me dead-tired at night and uninterested in doing some stuff. I managed to keep up with the science book reviews, but mystery reviews got the short end of the stick. I will attempt to remedy that. [05/26/2019]

Note, Part Eight: The Great COVID-19 crisis. I, along with a myriad of folks, am working from home (was working from home; I was laid off in September 2020). For some reason, I just couldn’t bestir myself to write reviews and they have piled up. Rather than put the reviews here, I created a separate page for them, Mysteries in the Time of COVID-19

Note, Part Nine: The Great COVID-19 crisis is more or less over, so new mystery reviews continue on a new page: Mysteries in the Time of Post COVID-19

Cat Paws

Mysteries in the Time of COVID-19 and beyond

NOTE: Reviews are presented with the most recent reviews posted first; I may or may not edit this page and reorder them.

“Ellery Queen Detective”
Cat of Many Tails [02/25/2020]

This is the second book of my recent read of Ellery Queen books.

I thought I had read all of the EQ books, but apparently, I hadn’t read this one (because, believe me, I would have remembered it).

This is a book that I have mixed feelings about. I enjoyed the story and I thought the revelation of the perpetrator was really good, but boy, it took a looooong time to get to that point.

If the editor could have cut at least one-third of this book, it would have made it a much better read. As it was, it was ponderous, even for an early EQ book, which tend to have a lot (and I mean a ton) of exposition.

I thought the premise was really interesting: a serial killer, call the Cat, was terrorizing New York City and for those of us who lived through the Son of Sam summer (while I lived in New Rochelle, I was working in NYC, so I couldn’t escape the underlying terror that had permeated the city), it was eerily familiar.

I’m about how I feel about this book only because it was so ponderous and there were times when I really just wanted to skip to the end to see whodunit, but the set up was so intriguing that I was willing to slog through it.

And it was a slog. Granted, the solution to the murder was interesting although I will leave it to those who have a better understanding of motivation and psychology of murder to decide if the motivation holds water.

I think in the end, I’ll give this book 3.5 paws – if you are an EQ fan, then by all means, read this book, for everyone else, you probably want to read another one of their myriads of tomes.

“Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mystery”
Murder is Medical (#10) [02/09/2020]

My other passion as far as books are concerned is medical history or anything medically oriented, so if I can combine both passions, I’m very happy.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

This was a solid story and a solid mystery that kept my interest until the surprising ending. I’m guessing that protagonist amateur sleuth is some kind of school teacher/instructor but I couldn’t really tell since the book takes place outside her normal haunts with her husband to watch her son receive his match for his medical residency.

Unfortunately, her husband had another heart attach and they were forced to stay longer than they had intended, which honestly was fine with Susan since she loves nothing more than a mystery (despite the fact that it was her husband’s illness that afforded her the opportunity). She ends up picking up a sidekick and they do their best to investigate who had killed the doctor practically in front of her eyes.

This is a really good mystery and one I enjoyed reading. Alas, I’m not going out of my way to read any further stories in the series. However, if one does show up on sale, I might just avail myself.

A solid four paws

“Ellery Queen Detective”
The Dutch Shoe Mystery (#3) [01/05/2020]

Ellery Queen mysteries were the adult mysteries that I had cut my mystery teeth on. My mother was found of Ellery Queen and extended that love to me while I was growing up in the 70s.

I love mysteries written in the period, that is, for instance, they were written in the 30s about the 30s. As such, you get a bit of a window into what it was like back in the day.

It also means that there are references that no longer make sense and especially the use of language long gone.

What really made the books enjoyable was the assumption that the reader was educated enough to get the references and inferences. I admit being stopped more than once to look up words I wasn’t familiar with (I love using the Kindle app on my iPhone and the ability to use the dictionary on the fly) and I’m sure I missed one or more classical references, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book.

This mystery surrounds the murder of the benefactor of a hospital where she is getting minor surgery and the ensuing red herrings as Ellery figures out who dunit and why.

The early Ellery Queen books will appeal to you if you want to read great, period writing and enjoy mysteries.

I give this book a solid 5 paws. I look forward to reading more of their early works when they are put on sale.

“Senoia Cozy Mystery”
Murder in the Morgue (#3) [02/21/2020]

I had totally forgotten that I had read this book until I checked my Goodreads and found that I had not only forgotten about the book, but had forgotten to write a review.

So here’s the review. It was meh… Except for the very beginning of the book, the mystery and solving there of takes places during the party at the hospital where an elderly lady is found killed at morgue which was all decorated.

There really isn’t much I can recommend. The story was OK, the characters were meh, and the mystery wasn’t all that interesting. I kept reading the book because it was fairly short.

I don’t see myself reading any further books in the series but given this is the third book, there are fans out there.

A measly two paws

“Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub Series”
Hops and Homicide (#6) [12/06/2019]

This is the sixth and last story of the Grumpy Chicken and her sleuthing friends.

Dixie’s son is in trouble and it’s up to the Scooby Gang to figure out how Dixie’s son’s partner was killed.

The author did a great job developing the characters. I really felt I knew them and could understand motivations.

I’m sorry to see this series come to an end, but I’m always glad when the author goes out on her own terms, rather than being forced out by market pressure.

I’ll miss the chicken and her people.

Four Paws

“Myrtle Clover Cozy Mystery”
Hushed Up (#15) [11/29/2019]

Myrtle is my spirit animal. Fiercely independent but not adverse of using her “little old lady” persona if necessary.

This time, we find our intrepid Myrtle and her wary sidekick Miles immersed in the murder of one of the Garden Club ladies. Unfortunately for Miles, he had found the body as he had gotten roped into assisting the Garden Club by picking up the auction item that the deceased had donated.

As with other Myrtle mysteries, we have ignored advice from Wanda; Red telling Myrtle to keep out of the investigation; Miles the reluctant sidekick, and a host of other fun characters.

If you’ve enjoyed the other Myrtle mysteries, then you’ll love this one as well. If you’ve never picked one up, this is a good one to start with.

Five Big Paws Up!

“Chintz ‘n China Mystery”
A Harvest of Bones (#4) [11/15/2019]
One Hex of a Wedding (#5) [11/21/2019]
Holiday Spirits (#6) [11/30/2019]

I’d read a previous mystery by the author and enjoyed it enough to pick up another book, A Harvest of Bones, at a discount, then because I really enjoyed it, I purchased the last two books in the series.

I thought the fourth book, A Harvest of Bones was an amazing book with a solid story and the mystery itself was really very well done. I don’t usually find mysteries that are rooted in the past to be all that great, but this was the exception. No wonder the author commented that this was her favorite book in the series.

I became so involved with the family, that and the fact it was such a good book, I picked up the next book, One Hex of a Wedding which details the wedding of the two main characters. It ended up being a better book than I had expected, but not quite as good as the previous book, A Harvest of Bones

Last but certainly not least in the series is Holiday Spirits, the Christmas story. This is more of a novella as it is very short, consequently I didn’t find it as compelling as the author’s other books. Still it was a solid Christmas story.

A Harvest of Bones (#4) — five solid paws!
One Hex of a Wedding (#5) — 4.5 paws
Holiday Spirits (#6) — 4 paws

“Green Fields Mystery”
Ghost in the Pumpkins (#2) [11/07/2019]

I like reading Halloween type mysteries around the holiday and I had picked up this free Kindle book sometime during the summer. After finishing the Poirot mystery (review below), I found this book begging for a read.

It was a decent mystery and just fine for Halloween reading, but, as I have said in previous reviews below, if I can guess who did the deed then the author didn’t really do a good job of misdirecting. I don’t read to figure out whodunit, I want to enjoy a good, solid story, so the fact that one of the characters said that another character couldn’t have done it because he wasn’t in the area (that and another big clue which I won’t reveal here), I just knew (that and the fact there just weren’t all that many suspects to begin with) who the culprit was.

This book was better than the average book and it was evident that the author put effort into the writing the story, I gave it three paws — better than average, barely.

Hallowe’en Party: A Hercule Poirot Mystery [10/27/2019]

I am a big fan of Agatha Christie, but not as much of a big fan of Hercule Poirot — I’m more of a Miss Marple fan. Be that as it may, I wanted to read a Halloween mystery before the big day and it was on sale for $1.99.

I spent a good chunk of the time reading the book wondering if I had read the book previously since it seems somewhat familiar to me. By the time I’d gotten to the end of the book, I realized that I probably hadn’t read the book, chalking it up to “if you’ve read one small village English cozy mystery, you’ve probably read them all.”

As to be expected reading a Christie mystery, this was a wonderful read. The Hallowe’en party itself was the catalyst for the murder and that was it for any Hallowe’en celebration but it provided a solid foundation for the mystery itself.

I would say this is a decent book to start with if you haven’t read Hercule Poirot before.

I give it 4.5 paws — a good, solid book.

“Cat in the Stacks”
The Pawful Truth (#11) [08/23/2019]

Charlie Harris, mild-mannered semi-retired librarian and his side-kick kitty Diesel are at it again investigating yet another murder. Only this time, Charlie gets a bit too close and almost comes to harm. I was very happy to see that his best girl and family decided to give Charlie the cold-shoulder after that incident and hopefully, Charlie has learned his lesson.

This is another great book in the fantastic series. Although the list of suspects were small, the characters compelled me to read on and gasp in horror at Charlie’s close call.

This is a great series especially if you love academic cozy’s and cats, although Diesel is a real cat and doesn’t talk or solve mysteries, doesn’t diminish my love of him or the series.

Five Big Paws — highly recommended!

“A Southern Quilting Mystery”
Fit To Be Tied (#11) [08/15/2019]

Due to GoodReads generosity and luck on my part, I entered a giveaway to receive the Kindle version of this book and won.

I’m a faithful reader of author Elizabeth Spann Craig other series about octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover, so I had fully expected to enjoy this book.

Which I did… sorta.

I was expecting more of the author’s snark and wit that is on full display with the Myrtle Clover mysteries, instead, was treated to a classic small-town cozy mystery featuring older characters, the quilters, semi-involved with figuring out the whodunit.

In true classic cozy mystery form, a factory owner was murdered before the main character’s minister husband was to meet him. Of course, there is another murder (a sad one, I felt) and inter-mixed with the main character’s only daughter about to give birth, the mystery is solved before anyone else is offed.

This was a long-leisurely mystery, as I said, a classic cozy that will warm the heart of any true cozy fan.

Recommended with four paws.

“Lexy Baker”
Ice Cream Murder (#9) [07/22/2019]

Lexy owns a shop that sells baked goods and coffee. She also had a grandmother, who along with her retiree friends, like to solve murders.

Lexy gets mixed up in a murder and supplies copious baked goods to her gran and friends. Her detective husband likes the baked goods too (I think the only one who manages not to sneak a cookie or two is her dog).

I really enjoyed this book very much. Sometimes authors run out of steam by the time they get to their ninth book, but the author keeps it fresh with a solid plot and great characters.

Highly recommended cozy 5 paws up!

Murder on the Oceania [07/07/2019]

This is the first in the “Cruise Ship Cozy Mystery” series and my major comment about the book is that it was more of a short story than an actual novel-length mystery.

It was an OK mystery, set aboard a cruise ship though one really didn’t get a good feeling for what it’s like on a cruise ship because, as I said, it was a short story.

“Murder on the Oceania” was a decent enough mystery and I would probably rate this higher had it not been for the fact it was a short story.

I give it 3 paws; if I read more books in the series, I might come back and change my mind about the rating.

“A Whodunit Pet Cozy Mystery Series”
Panic at the Pier (#1) [07/06/2019]


This was an OK book, barely readable in my not so humble opinion.

The major problem I had is that I just didn’t “feel” the story. That is, it was from a first person point of view, which tends to be the hardest to write since the story is told from the lead character’s point of view, so you really don’t know what the others are feeling or thinking.

The book had no depth, that is there was barely any description of what town was like, no real difference in different characters’ speech; it was like I was reading a bunch of words, barely engaging me as the reader.

I hate trashing anyone’s work, but all I can say is that I’m really seriously glad I didn’t pay for this because I would have demanded my money back.

I’m giving this book 1.5 paws because the author did manage to get the book published, I just won’t be reading any further books in the series.

“Paige Comber”
The Secret of Seaside (#1) [06/29/2019]


This book was nothing special; a rather pedestrian mystery on the beach with a touch of romance.

I finished the book, which is more than I’ve done with other books, but it’s not a series that I’ll go out of my way to read.

I give it 2.5 paws — not planning to read anymore in the series unless the books are free.

“Wonder Cats Mystery”
Clawful Reflections (#10) [05/25/2019]

This was probably one of the creepier books that the author has written where good-natured Bea is turned into a literal monster.

It also features Kath’s relationship with Tom, which takes an unexpected turn.

I really enjoyed this entry and unlike other series, seems to keep getting better.

Another 5 paw review!

“Joe Grey”
Cat Chase the Moon (Joe Grey #21) [05/25/2019]

Kitty teenager Courtney gets herself kidnapped leaving a frantic Joe Grey and Dulcie looking for their child. In the meantime, the city of Molina is suffering a number of robberies.

As you would expect, everything works out… sorta. There is a surprise ending that I didn’t see but it didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book and series.

Highly recommended with 5 paws!

“Myrtle Clover Mysteries”
Edit to Death (#14) [15 May 2019]

Myrtle is asked to edit a memoir and with her being a former English teacher, she jumps at the chance. As it turns out, not everyone is thrilled with the idea, especially the family of the erstwhile writer.

I have to say that it wasn’t one of the author’s better efforts, but honestly, Elizabeth Spann Craig’s worse efforts are far far better than some of the drivel I’ve read of late (and will be, unfortunately, reviewing as I swore I would review whatever I read).

Despite my misgivings, I give this book 4.5 paws but I wouldn’t make it the first book in the series to read; the others are far better.

“Spells & Caramels”
Bat Wings, Rings & Apron Strings (#10) [26 April 2019]

This is the 10th and final book in the series. I had been one of the ARC readers for the author but somehow, fell off the mailing list. By the time I figured out that I missed a few books, the last book came out.

I purchased the book and set to reading it. I wouldn’t suggest skipping books because the series really does need to be read in sequence.

Hank and Imogene are finally set to tie the knot, but true love never runs smoothly, right? Imogene and her Scooby Gang just manage to set things right before Hank and Imogene take their vows.

I was sad to see the series end but was very happy with how the series ended.

This is a series that deftly combines magic, cooking and a love story — definitely check it out if this is your pleasure.

Four solid paws!

“Port Danby”
Marigolds and Murder (#1) [31 March 2019]

Lacey ‘Pink’ Pinkerton decided that she would rather sell flowers in a sleepy New England town than continue with the rat race despite making a ton of money with her highly-tuned nose — something highly prized in the perfume industry.

She gets mixed up in a murder and despite the fact that she would love to forget about her “super nose” it does come in handy tracking down the miscreant who killed her neighbor.

I liked Pink a lot. She has a raven and a cat. What’s not to love?

I give this book a solid 3.5 paws, well worth reading on a lazy afternoon.

Murder at Merisham Lodge [14 Feb 2019]

If your cozy mystery reading tends more towards British mysteries between World Wars I and II, then this is definitely your cuppa.

The protagonists are firmly below stairs: a lady’s maid and undercook. I really enjoyed seeing the dichotomy of those below stairs and those above. As the title implies, the murder takes place as a manor house and for the most part, the action takes place there as well.

I really enjoyed the deliberate pacing and characterizations.

Four and a half paws — definitely worth a read!

“The Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub”
A Whiskey Sour Wipeout (#5) [05 Jan 2019]

Rather than have the story firmly centered on Ginger, the lead is Dog Breath who is drawn into investigating a fellow vet’s demise.

Of course the Scooby Gang get involved, unfortunately with tragic consequences for one of them. But don’t let that deter you from reading the book. It’s a strong entry in the series where the author shows no signs of slowing down.

An excellent entry in the series and I give it four solid paws.

(Note: I was given a copy of both books in exchange for an honest review.)

Two’s Company, Three’s a Coven [01 Dec 2018]

This book bills itself as a story of identical triplets born five years apart.

Oh….kay… as someone who holds a BS in Biology, I was rather interested in how this came about. My first thought was that they are clones. Not quite, they are witches, half-witches and some of the other witches in town consider them bad news.

Despite being triplets, they have divergent interests and jobs: constable, social worker and a school-aged candle stick maker (Echo who makes the candles on the sly while helping out at their grandmother & aunt’s candle shop and she’s my favorite character).

I thought the book was a bit slow in the beginning but made up for it rapidly once the game was afoot.

If you enjoy cozy stories with witches, then definitely give this one a read.

4 paws!

“Wonder Cats Mystery”
Pawsibly Murdered (#9) [15 Nov 2018]

This book has it all: Aunt Astrid being very mad, a charlatan psychic, Tom’s mother and a mud beast, complete with a thunderstorm.

It’s not enough that Cath is meeting Tom’s mother for the first time, but the local charlatan psychic was killed.

Of course, the Greenstone ladies are involved and become up to their necks in trouble.

If I had any complaints I would have loved to have seen more of the cats.

Another good one! 5 paws!

“Witch Sisters of Stillwater”
The Beast Cometh (#5) [09 Nov 2018]
A Whole Lotta Witchin Goin On (#4) [11 Oct 2018]

(Note: I was given a copy of both books in exchange for an honest review.)

I’m reviewing both books at the same time because they essentially one long story though I was surprised that book #5 didn’t immediately pick up after #4 but it’s close enough.

The town is about to celebrate its 150 anniversary and this year the comet that comes every 50 years is will pass through at the same time and when this happens it comes with a heavy dose of “bad things happen.”

Book #4 centers around the preparations for the big celebration and #5 is the aftermath. Do be prepared for an emotional ride in book #5.

Please buy and plan to read both books together. I enjoyed book #5 a bit more than #4 only because the action and the emotion presented in the book.

I’d give book #4 3.5 paws and #5 4.0 paws — if you’re a fan of the series, these books are a must.

“Spells & Caramels”
Due East, Beasts & Campfire Feasts: A Cozy Witch Mystery (#7) [13 Oct 2018]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Imogen and her Scooby Gang bakers (and Hank) as they escape Hank’s father trying to kill them and land up in the bandlands where the inhabitants aren’t particularly happy to see them.

The head guard is looking for her missing captain and figures this lot may know something or have something to do with it. She marches them back to her town and the town council (not too thrilled to see a bunch of ‘them’ show up) send the guard and the Scooby gang back out where the monsters hang to gather up some necessary plants.

Oh and did I mention that the Scooby Gang’s magic has been temporarily excised? Yeah. Trying to fight monsters (and they are some scary MFs) without one’s powers is very daunting despite assurances that the guards will protect them.

I can tell you that I really enjoyed this book and ended up getting to bed waaaay past my bedtime because I really got caught up with the story.

And I think you will too.

I give this book a solid 4.5 paws — and I am so looking forward to the next one!

“Mystic Notch Cozy Mystery”
Ghostly Paws (#1) [24 Sep 2018]

As is typical of most of the cozy mysteries that I read, this series takes place in a small town in New England where our heroine, Wilhelmina Chance, moves back to Mystic Notch having had a career in the big city after inheriting a house, bookstore, and kitty from her late aunt.

This is a really good story where the mystery was decent and the cats are a touch more than just house felines.

I rated this book a solid 4.0 paws — it’s a good, entertaining read and if you enjoy ghosts and cats who are more than just cats, this is for you. I’ve already ordered book two and look forward to reading it.

“Myrtle Clover Mysteries”
Cleaning is Murder (#13) [07 Sep 2018]

Not wanting to lose her erstwhile cleaning lady to a murder rap, Myrtle is forced into spending time proving that Puddin didn’t off the tightwad who owed her money while Red is busy avoiding Elaine’s newest hobby: healthy eating (just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s eatable).

If you’d ever wondered what Puddin was really like, this book is for you as we are treated to Puddin morning, noon and night. In between eating his mother out of house and home, of course Red tries to keep Myrtle from sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong.

Of course, Wanda is around to declare, “yer in trouble.”

If you’ve enjoyed the other books in the series, you’ll love this one as well.

4.5 paws — a delightful read!

“Inspector Cockrill”
Green for Danger (#2) [26 Aug 2018]

This is the first book I’ve read by author Christianna Brand and, for the most part, I enjoyed it.

The setting is World War II England and as I recall from reading the book notes, the author either wrote the book during this time or shortly thereafter.

Being a medical history nerd, I have a special interest in any mystery that has a medical plot-point. This book takes place in the English countryside, centering around a hospital whose patient population seemed to be those poor blighters who were unfortunate enough to become tangled up with a bomb (this was the time that the Germans were bombing civilians in England).

Most of the characters were either part of the auxiliary nursing corp (civilians who were made into what we’d probably consider to be nursing assistants who were looked down upon by the nursing sisters), military doctors, and the patients themselves.

The pace of the book would likely appeal to fans of Agatha Christie though I found the book a bit tedious at times. It didn’t help that there was a rather large cast of characters, any of whom could have done the deed.

Despite the sometimes tedious pace, I was genuinely surprised by the revelation of the killer and author Christianna did a very good job of leaving the clues out there in the open.

I’m giving this book a solid 4/5 paws — good for those readers who don’t mind a slow-moving but ultimately satisfying book.

“Witch Sisters of Stillwater”
That Ol’ Black Magic (#3) [31 July 2018]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

I became part of the author’s advanced reader team, so I was fortunate in being able to read the newest entry right after reading the second book in the series.

And boy, what a story!

Despite being relatively short, it packed a punch, with each of the Sisters’ being featured, plenty of Moody (but not enough of that sassy kitty) and an ending that left me going, “wow!”

Read the first two books, then tackle this one. You won’t be disappointed.

5 paws!

“Witch Sisters of Stillwater”
A Shade of Murders (#2) [24 July 2018]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

The Sisters and Moody find themselves embroiled at a murder before their annual Civil War reenactment, which had become a battleground for snark and hurt feelings when actors are assigned their reenactment roles.

As with the first book, the action takes place either at the Sisters’ house, the museum, or the diner.

I was really impressed with the unexpected ending, and as with the first book, there needs to be more Moody.

A solid 4/5 paws.

“Witch Sisters of Stillwater”
Hoodoo and Just Desserts (#1) [19 July 2018]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Sisters (one who works at a museum) and the other who works with the Sheriff’s department — who happen to be witches — are embroiled in the murder of a hated land developer at the museum.

The sisters along with their telepathic kitty, Moody, who is the best character in the book, help solve the mystery.

I’d read another series by the author and totally enjoyed the books to date. I feel this book skimps a bit on the characterization, except for Moody.

Despite having said this, I look forward to the next books in the series.

I give the book 4/5 paws.

“A Brimstone Witch Mystery Book”
The Witch Is Dead (#9) [10 July 2018]

Justice Cassia and her faithful kitty sidekick Stanley go to Dingy Skipper to solve the murder of their local witch.

I’m a total sucker for murder mysteries with kitty cats and this one was fantastic. In fact, there were two kitties: Cassia’s Stanley and the murdered witches familiar.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were great and well-developed and the who-dun-it was a bit of a surprise.

If you enjoy paranormal mysteries, I can recommend this specific book. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series assuming I can buy them at a reasonable price.

I give the book 4.4/5 paws.

“Mr. & Mrs. North”
Murder within Murder (#10) [04 July 2018]

I’d always wanted to read one of these period mysteries hoping that I’d enjoy it and I’d have plenty to read.

Alas, despite the fact that I really enjoyed reading the post war era mysteries, this series wasn’t going to do it for me. I just can’t get past Mrs North as the ditz — she should be much smarter than she is portrays.

This is likely to be the one and only book in the series I will read.

I give the book 2.5/5 paws.

“Spells & Caramels Series”
Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips (#6) [24 June 2018]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

As another reviewer pointed out, this is not a stand-alone book, but for those fans of the series, it’s a good one, continuing the background story of the swallows as well as the adventures of the bakers who seem to adventure more than bake these days.

The story centers around our adventure bakers working their baking magic at the Air Kingdom when the usual bakers had taken off on holiday (as I recall).

As I alluded, they don’t do much baking, instead manage to hang around Imogene’s miscreant brother Horace pulling off a caper worthy of Mission: Impossible.

While I found the whole Mission: Impossible scenario a bit incredulous, it does make sense given the context and the revelations at the end of the book.

Be aware that the book ends on a cliff-hangar; so adjust your reading accordingly.

A worthy entry into the series and well worth a read if you enjoy sinking your teeth into a well-written series.

I give it a solid 4/5 paws.

“Peter Shandy Mysteries”
Exit the Milkman (#10) [06 June 2018]

Exit the Milkman is Charlotte’s 10th Peter Shandy book and if memory serves me correctly, her last in this series.

It wasn’t as much a Peter and Helen book as it was more of their friend Cat’s book as she is the one who finds the erstwhile Milkman.

Unlike previous Peter and Helen books, I wasn’t as captivated by the quirky characters but it still ended up being a great read. The book felt as if Charlotte was testing the waters for another series starring Catriona and the state of Maine scenery.

If you’ve enjoyed the other books in the series, then you’ll enjoy this one. However, be warned, I didn’t think it was one of her better efforts.

4/5 paws!

“A Wonder Cats Mystery”
Fur-boding Shadows (#8) [10 June 2018]

This is the eighth book in the series and, while not one of the best, was still a very enjoyable book and not as sad as book 6.

An acquaintance of Aunt Astrid’s dies a mysterious death and it’s up to the Greenstones to figure out what’s going on.

The ending was very satisfying and the cats play a nice part in bringing the baddies down. I hope that Evelyn becomes a semi-regular character because it would be great to see how she grows up.

Well worth reading. I give it a solid 4/5 paws.

“A Sarah Keate Mystery”
Murder by an Aristocrat [24 May 2018]

I believe this is the fourth book I’ve read featuring the nurse slash sleuth Sarah Keate.

This time, Nurse Sarah is tending to an aristocrat who was accidentally shot. Of course, part of the mystery is who shot Bayard and why.

The book is set on a farm in Nebraska but honestly, it could have been set anywhere where it is hot and roses grow since it really didn’t feel like the midwest (a place I’ve actually lived).

Be that as it may, this was a typical Nurse Sarah mystery complete with family intrigue and secrets. Given the set up, I managed to guess whodunit thought that didn’t spoil the unraveling the family experienced.

Unfortunately, I didn’t feel it was one of the author’s best works, it was still enjoyable. If your cup of cozy tea is a slow moving, character rich mystery, then by all means, this is for you.

For all others, beware.

4.1/5 paws

“Maggie Newberry Mysteries”
Murder in the Abbey (#8)

I generally don’t like starting a new series this far in, but the price was right (free) and the plot sounded interesting.

I was not disappointed what so ever. Maggie is a spunky American married to a French wine grower, living in France with their two young children.

In this book, the couple go to the funeral of her husband’s good friend (a friend Maggie could do without) in England.

This was a solid cozy with really interesting characters and was well-paced. I didn’t enjoy the initial scenes in France as much as I enjoyed those in England. But I can easily chalk that up to the fact that I was starting with the eighth book of the series.

I really enjoyed this book and would love to read more in the series as long as the price is right.

Well worth the read if you enjoy English cozy mysteries as I do. I give it four and half paws — and look forward to more books in the series.

“The Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub Series”
Cursed With a Twist (#4) [24 April, 2018]

This is the fourth book in the Grumpy Chicken and the most different in that instead of Ginger being the narrator, the point of view changed between several of the Scooby Gang in order to propel the story forward.

This wasn’t a mystery in the classic sense where there’s a dead body and the Scooby Gang would discover whodunit, instead, the story was more about discovering more about the pub.

The story itself seemed a bit shorter than usual given that I finished it so fast (that is, I was surprised when it was over) and I enjoyed it. The story brought up more questions than answers and I look forward to more information about the pub and it’s Grumpy Chicken.

I give it 3.5 paws — looking forward to the next book.

“Singaporean Mystery”
Aunty Lee’s Delights: A Singaporean Mystery (#1) [13 April, 2018]

I started reading this series with the 7th book (reviewed below; as much as I loathe starting books that far into the series, the price was right), which I really enjoyed, and this was the first book in the series introducing us to Auntie Lee, her family and restaurant.

As with the first book that I read, I was immersed in the culture of Singapore, but I thought the author did a better job on that score with the previous book. Even with that in mind, it was a really solid mystery and one that had taken my by surprise with the reveal.

This book would appeal to those readers who enjoy a nice, leisurely stroll through an exotic local, never mind drool when reading about all those delicacies that Aunty Lee whips up.

Another solid 4 paws — I hope more of the books come down in price so I can buy them!

“The Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub Series”
A Highball and a Low Blow (#3) [04 April, 2018]

This is the third book of the Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub Series and it was just as good as the previous two books reviewed previously.

It wasn’t a mystery in the true sense of “there’s a dead body and we have to find out who-dun-it.” Instead, Ginger’s ex-husband is almost killed while visiting her for business reasons and of course, Ginger needs to find out what it’s all about.

We really didn’t get to see the Grumpy version of the Scoobie gang in action, but it did have all the gang thwarting the bad guy in the end.

If you’ve enjoyed the previous two books, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.

I give it four paws — another worthy entry in the series!

“Spells & Caramels”
Full Moons, Dunes & Macaroons (#4) [31 March, 2018]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

The wedding day has arrived and our intrepid Scooby gang is there to work along side the Fire Kingdom bakers to create the special cake for the special day.

Unlike other books in the series, we actually don’t see much of the Scooby gang or their baking, instead, the story focused on the two main ladies of the hour: Imogene and Princess Shaday (one could say that a third lady could be considered Maple since it’s become obvious she has to make a choice between her two suitors).

While Princess Shaday was previously presented as aloof and beautiful, we really get to see what lies beneath her royal mask. Imogene, on the other hand, remains conflicted and the events of this book drive her conflict even deeper.

This was a very satisfying book in the entry, and while many series lose steam around book 5, this one is seriously keeping my interest. Can’t wait for the next book!

4.5 strong paws! A worthy entry in the series.

“Florida Keys Mystery Series”
Blownup in Paradise (Book 14) [28 March 2018]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

Generally, I don’t like coming in the middle of a long-running series and frankly, noting that this was #14 in the series, I wasn’t sure that I was going to enjoy the book.

Despite my initial trepidation, I enjoyed this book more than I had expected. I’m really not a big fan of Detective/PI mysteries but as Winter in Oregon showed no signs of abating, the promise of Miami sun and shine beckoned me.

I really enjoyed the characters and the mystery/plot was very well done. I liked the idea that the stories occurred over a contiguous period of time and there was more than one mystery to be solved.

Because this sub-genre of mysteries isn’t quite my bag, I don’t see myself reading any further in the series, but if sunshine, fast cars, private investigators are your kind of mysteries, most definitely, take advantage of this book.

I give this book a solid 4 paws — well worth reading but give yourself plenty of time, this is a long book!

“Pine Lake Inn”
Death in Room 7 (#1) [16 March 2018]

Set in a small town in Tasmania, this is a really solid cozy mystery mixed with a heavy dose of paranormal towards the end of the book.

I really enjoyed the characters especially Dell, the owner of the Inn and her son Kevin who is on the police force.

If I had any quibbles about the book is was the fact that there were a few obvious lose ends that will obviously be picked up in subsequent books. I really don’t like when authors do that in that I think it’s cheating the reader, but that aside, I give this book a solid 4 paws — well worth reading on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

“The Grumpy Chicken Irish Pub Series”
A Frosty Mug of Murder (#1) [28 Feb 2018]
Treachery on Tap (#2) [08 March 2018]

After reading that turkey of a book, Murder at Macbeth, I was presented with the opportunity to read another mystery set across the pond.

So I thought.

I honestly thought that “A Frosty Mug of Murder,” billed as an Irish Pub mystery, was actually set in Ireland. I happily began reading and the dialogue didn’t quite match that of what I knew was Irish. In fact, it came off as down-right…. “American.”

And then the truth was revealed. It was indeed set in an Irish Pub… in the southern United States. Once I’d gotten over the shock, I was pleasantly surprised to read a really fun mystery featuring the Ginger who runs her father’s pub located ins a very small town in the deep-south, haunted by a seriously grumpy chicken (we think but as Ginger points out, hasn’t been proved), who manages to solve the mystery accompanied by a motley group that makes the original Scooby gang look down-right mundane.

Both books are great and if you are inclined to read both, start with #1 as #2 follows immediately after.

I give both books a solid 4.5 paws — a really fun, light read for cold February evenings.

“Flight Risk”
Murder at Macbeth (#1) [25 Feb 2018]

This book bit.


I had expected to read a mystery with the Scottish Play as the background but what I read was a notch above a really bad fan-fic.

I will give the author some kudos, the two lead characters were interesting but the rest? Blarg. Besides, I’ve been to England, London in fact, spent three years watching Sky News and BBC and I can tell you that the English dialogue was from no where. Same with the southern dialogue having spent 4 years in the south.

The mystery itself was pretty bad and the solution (given what I know about the subject) just didn’t make any sense.

This is one book I would say skip it. And honestly, I am so sorry that I paid 99c for this.

1.5 paws — read only if you get it free and maybe not even then.

“Singaporean Mystery”
Meddling and Murder (#4) [23 Feb 2018]

I adore books that explore a different culture or place on the globe and still delivers a great mystery.

This book does just that.

Set in modern Singapore, Auntie Lee is an older widow lady who manages a neighborhood restaurant (almost like a deli) who solves mystery on the side.

This is a totally delightful mystery, delving into Singaporean society, and it left me wanting to try some of the dishes that Auntie Lee gleefully described.

I would love to read the rest of the books in the series, however, I have this problem with paying more that $3 per book for a book I’m going to finish in less than a few days. I will snap them up if I see them on sale.

5 strong paws!

“Spells & Caramels”
Cookie Dough, Snow & Wands Aglow (#4) [Jan 20, 2018]

(Note: This time, I wasn’t given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

The book opens up with our intrepid Scooby Gang making way through the snow to London when they encounter a detour to a town with a hidden past.

As opposed to her other books, the actual mystery in this book wasn’t as good as the other ones, but the author makes up for it by clearing up the mystery of one of the main characters.

For those of you who have read any mystery series, coming in with book #4 isn’t a good idea. Ideally, you really want to start with #1 and read forward. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

4 strong paws!

“A Miss Seeton Mystery”
Picture Miss Seeton (#1) [12 Jan 2018]

This is the first book I’ve read of this series and I enjoyed it.

I thought of it as Agatha Christie with a healthy dose of snark.

Miss Seeton is an art teacher who inherits a cottage in a small English village, full of characters straight out of a typical English cozy mystery.

If I had any qualms it was the way that the character point of view would suddenly change without any kind of indication of a PoV change. Other than that small qualm, this was a great cozy mystery, full of snark. I don’t have any plans to read anymore books, but if one fell my way, I certainly wouldn’t refuse.

3.5 paws

“A Cape Bay Cafe Mystery”
Cremas, Christmas Cookies, and Crooks (#6) [30 Dec 2017]

I’m a great fan of author Harper Lin’s “Wonder Cats Mystery Books” having read and paid for all the books in the series so far (and rated them very highly).

Unfortunately, the book, Cremas, Christmas Cookies, and Crooks, in my opinion, didn’t quite match up with her Wonder Cats series though I admit it was enjoyable read.

The plot was basic, amateur sleuth owner of a coffee shop is asked to investigate the murder of a much unloved teacher because a much loved teacher was accused of murder.

It was a nice leisurely read featuring yet another single amateur investigator with a smoking hot boyfriend solving crimes. I can’t say that I’m going to go out of my way to read any more books in the series, but if one comes along for free, I won’t turn it down.

3.5 paws out of 5 — a worthwhile read if your expectations are few.

Christmas Cozy Mystery Five Book Set [23 Dec 2017]

Five novellas for the price of one.

All told from the first person point of view. Each protagonist is a woman with a boy friend too good to be true.

I found the first story to be the weakest of the bunch with the last story not that far behind. The middle three stories are pretty decent; just nothing to shout out loud about.

As I recall, I was able to snag this set for a mere 99c so it was definitely worth the money I paid for it but I don’t see myself considering a re-read or reading any more from this author.

I wanted to read a Christmas mystery and it fulfilled the bill given that I wasn’t totally expecting much.

Three paws.

“A Maggie Hope Mystery”
Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante (#5) [11 Dec 2017]

I had a problem with this book as soon as I read the first page. In fact, I only finished the book because I had paid for it.

I prefer my period-piece books to reflect the language of the time the book takes place in and I really had a hard time with a book that takes place during the tense days of World War II when the United States declares war using more modern attitudes towards the situations depicted in the book. For me, this was a show-stopper. For others, it may add an interesting dimension to the story and situations.

Despite my reservations, I enjoyed Maggie Hope (think a more subdued Agent Peggy Carter) and I mostly enjoyed the characters and plot.

I had a hard time deciding how many paws to give this book, ultimately deciding on three.

A reluctant three paws.

“A Sarah Keate Mystery”
Wolf in Man’s Clothing [02 Sept 2017]

This is the third Sarah Keate mystery I’ve read by Mignon Eberhart and I seriously enjoyed it.

The murder takes place during World War II in a creaky old manor house where Sarah and another nurse are hired to take care of a wealthy man’s son.

I give you fair warning, the prose is rather gothic at times, but then, it fits perfectly with the mood and tempo of the story. Don’t expect a fast read, Mignon takes her time to describe people and situations and I felt myself shiver along with the characters as the icy rain fell.

As opposed to the book, Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante, this felt like a book taking place in the 40s.

This series isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy Agatha Christie, you will totally enjoy Mignon.

Four and a half big paws!

“Spells & Caramels”
Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins (#3) [Nov 30, 2017]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

This is the third book following the adventures of Imogene, the Royal baker and her fellow bakers.
This time, the bakers are invited to create a special sweet treat for the Royal marriage in the Underwater Kingdom. Imogene is still learning magic and pining after the Prince.

It was another delightful story with great characters though I admit that the mystery wasn’t as compelling as the previous two stories. Still, it was a fun ride and if you enjoyed the previous two books in the series, you’ll enjoy this one as well.

Four paws!

“Spells & Caramels”
Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts (#2) [Nov 22, 2017]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

This is the second book in the series, and like the first one, a joy to read.

I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the second book because I’ve found, it takes a really talented writer to write as good a book as the first and Erin did a great job!

The story picks up from the first book where Imogene working in the royal bakery and finding herself embroiled in yet another mystery. It’s not as if the mystery went looking for her, she was specifically asked to investigate.

It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. I was impressed with how the author was able to tie up loose ends and even managed to surprise me a few times.

I am greatly looking forward to reading book #3, which is waiting patiently for me to dig in and I can’t wait.

A big 4.5 paws out of five — start with book #1, you won’t be disappointed.

“Spells & Caramels”
Seashells, Spells & Caramels (#1) [Nov 1, 2017]

(Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.)

Actually, I would have gladly paid for this book!

The book starts in Seattle, a place I know well having lived there for six years where our heroine proves the adage that if it wasn’t for bad luck, she’d have no luck at all. She willingly assists her bitch of a boss with providing cupcakes for the rehearsal dinner that turn out to be a big hit only to go home and end up burning down her apartment.

Luckily before that unfortunately series of events, she was able to get her entry to the baking contest. The contest will remind the reader of The Great American Baking Show or its British cousin intermixed with murder and magic.

The author’s style was easy to read (and compelling towards the end when I should have been working, I was reading :-)) and I found the characters worth knowing (except for her boss who was a bit over the top). The book was a great introduction to the series and I really look forward to reading them.

Four paws out of Five –- well worth your time!

Black Arts, Tarts & Gypsy Carts #2 [Dec 1, 2017]

(Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

This is the second book in the series, and like the first one, a joy to read.

I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the second book because I’ve found, it takes a really talented writer to write as good a book as the first and Erin did a great job!

The story picks up from the first book where Imogene working in the royal bakery and finding herself embroiled in yet another mystery. It’s not as if the mystery went looking for her, she was specifically asked to investigate.

It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. I was impressed with how the author was able to tie up loose ends and even managed to surprise me a few times.

I am greatly looking forward to reading book #3, which is waiting patiently for me to dig in and I can’t wait.

A big 4.5 paws out of five — start with book #1, you won’t be disappointed.

“Bakery Detectives”
The Pumpkin Killer (#8) [Oct 28, 2017]

As the title of the series implies, these two ladies own a bakery and solve mysteries. One partner is an unwilling solver of mysteries, the other one (heavily pregnant in this eighth book) maneuvers her reluctant in going on a paranormal tour where the tour participants encounter a body that resembles a death done a century ago.

The author’s writing style is easy on the eyes, the characters reasonable interesting, but I admit that I really enjoyed the mystery and the solution was interesting.

I can’t say that I will go out of my way to read any more in the series but if one drops in my lap, I wouldn’t be averse to giving it a whirl.

3.5 Paws out of Five

“Familiar Legacy”
Familiar Trouble (#1) [Oct 08, 2017]

Trouble is Familiar’s son; Familiar apparently is a very famous feline detective who appreciates Sherlock Holmes.

Anyway, Trouble is Tammy’s feline. She knows that he’s “special” and is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Tammy becomes in emboldened in a former agent’s pursuit of a serial killer who seems to have landed in the small Alabama town.

It’s not a bad mystery at all. It’s a good sign that when I finish a book, I check to see if there are other books in the series. In this case, there are. However, but I generally don’t purchase books above $1.99 unless I really love them. And in this case, I didn’t like that series that much. But this book and perhaps series are worth your time.

Four Paws

“Sunny Truly Mystery”
Margaritas & Murder (#1) [Sept 15, 2017]

Sunny is working as an apprentice PI who becomes embroiled in a mystery. She also has a cat who plays an important role at the end.

A smooth, easy read, well-worth your time.

Four Paws

“Moosamuck Island”
A Zen for Murder (#1) [Sept 08, 2017]

Retirees criminal psychologist and detective join forces to solve a murder.

This is a rather laid-back cozy complete with gossiping retirees and a few felines. A nice way to spend some quiet time reading.

3.5 Paws

“Southern Ladies Mystery”
Bless Her Dead Little Heart (#1) [Aug 13, 2017]

Author Miranda James spun off two characters from his “Cats in the Stack Mystery” series, Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote into their own series. Amazon was offering the first book for $2 and I figured why not? (I refuse to pay more than $5 for a Kindle book and some publishers are squeezing every last bitcoin from readers; I’m not playing.)

It’s a decent story with a satisfying wrap up to the mystery. Besides, Diesel was there to help (unlike many critters in mystery stories, Diesel stays a cat and doesn’t help solve mysteries).

I’d rank this first effort with four paws out of five. Satisfying, just not mind-blowing.
Four Paws

“Joe Grey”
Cat Shout for Joy (Joe Grey #19) [08/04/2017]

When I’m reading a series, I don’t normally write reviews for individual books, but this one was so good that it deserves its own entry.

The theme of the book reminds me of the old Ben Casey series opening: Man, Woman, Birth, Death…Infinity.

I can’t really review the book without giving any of the plot line away, but I found the story compelling and the mystery to be top-notch. I will say that it’s sad in some places, joyful in others. The book is a contrast of good versus evil, birth versus death, life fulfilled versus a life of revenge.

As good as this book is, this is not the book to start the series, but if you make your way through the series as I have (and I’m finally all caught up!), it’s well worth the journey.

The reviews of the other books are below, but honestly, all you need to know is that they are all Five Serious Paws!

“C.J. Whitmore Mystery”
Picking Lemons (#1) [05/30/2017]
Occam’s Murder (#2) [06/02/2017]

Who knew that university economics professors could be so cut-throat? Actually, I should have guessed as much because as the book said, the smaller the reward, the more people fight over being king or queen of the mountain.

The protagonist CJ is the only tenured female professor who has a snarky way of viewing the world and doesn’t sugar-coat the nature of academic world.

The mystery itself was pretty good and I can’t say enough about the writing. It was delicious. I enjoyed it so much that I picked up the next book in the series.

If you like your mystery books with a heavy dose of snark, you’ll love this series. I’m actually surprised it doesn’t score a higher average rating on Good Reads. Readers don’t know what they are missing!
Five Snarky Paws!

Addendum: I read the second book Occam’s Murder and found it just as good as the first!

“Chubby Chicks Club”
Murderous Muffins (#2) [05/24/2017]

I’m trying to figure out how best to explain my rationale for giving this book barely 2 stars.

I realize that this is the second book in the series, so I obviously may be missing some backstory, but I found the story itself barely adequate, the characters were meh, and the dialogue was juvenile.

At least I was able to finish the book, which is why I gave it two paws.

I can tell you for sure this is one series I’m not going to bother to read, even if the books are free.

“Chintz ‘n China”
Ghost of a Chance Book 1 [05/21/2017]

A single mom who practices the craft finds herself confronted by a ghost who can’t rest until her murderer is brought to justice. Combine this with an over-eager son wanting to practice the craft and our heroine Emerald has her hands full.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I did find it a bit incredulous that just about everyone she tells is so accepting of her talents. I also was taken aback by the two sex scenes. Not that I disapprove, but I don’t usually find such with cozy books.

Having said this, I give the book a solid 3.5 paws. It’s the first of a series, but I honestly didn’t enjoy it enough to purchase the rest of the series.

“A Mercy Mares Cozy Mystery”
Mercy & Mayhem: Book One [05/20/2017]


I really wanted to like this book, but I really can’t. I found myself cringing at the bad editing and the book layout was awful: sections and sentences repeated. Not only that but the font changed several times causing me to have to change the font for my Kindle iOS app so I could continue reading the story.

As for the story itself, it wasn’t bad, however, when it got to the “how it was done” how part of it didn’t make sense.

I just don’t see myself reading another book anytime soon. Too bad. I would have loved reading a medical cozy mystery series.

I give this story two paws.

“Grace Holliday Mystery”
Deadly Magic (#1) [05/18/2017]

Be prepared. This is a long book, taking me longer than usual to finish this book.

I also had considered abandoning this book because I felt that it was really slow and tedious to read.

I’m glad I kept with it.

The deeper I got into the book, the more engaged I became and I felt that the end of the book made up for any tediousness I felt in the beginning.

The mystery was more than satisfying and I really did enjoy the characters, but not enough to continue reading the series, especially for $3 or $4 a book.

I give this book a solid four paws. Better than most but not the best.

“Dusty Deals Mystery”
Loose Screw (#1) [May 06, 2017]

Lucy is a former reporter who owns Dusty Deals, an antiques store.

Along with her trusty malamute Kiska (a wonderful character!), she solves a murder and manages to write all about it in the local newspaper.

This was a really good book, keeping my attention from the first to the last paragraph. I enjoyed it so much, I might just read more books in the series if the price is right.

Well recommended, 4 paws out of 5.

Witches of Mystic Bay: Murder and Mayhem [May 2017]

I really wanted to like this book but I had a hard time with the premise of the witches, werewolves and vampires being at odds with each other.

And the fact that they all managed to conveniently live in the real world.

The mystery and characters were great and I enjoyed the story. It’s the premise had I had a hard time with.

I give this book 3.5 paws out of 5 as you might enjoy it more than I did.

“Wicked Witches of the Midwest”
Every Witch Way But Wicked (#2) [May 2017]

This is the second book in the series, and thankfully, it really wasn’t necessary for me to have read the first.

I really enjoyed this paranormal/mystery romp. The characters were fun (though there were a lot of them) and I enjoyed the family drama, especially Aunt Tillie.

I had fully planned to read more of the series until I saw that each book was $3.99 — and this was a bit more than I was willing to pay for a book that would take me less than 2 days to pay. If the price does come down, I do plan to read more books in the series.

If I had any complaints, Tiddles the cat didn’t have enough to do. 🙂

A solid 4 paws out of 5.

“The Posie Parker Mystery”
Murder Offstage (#1) [May 2017]

I will confess that the first quarter of the book didn’t flip my biscuit and I seriously considered leaving the book unfinished. But I liked the characters and trudged on.

I’m glad I did because this turned out to be a really good, solid mystery. I enjoyed the characters and the writing was excellent.

If I had any complaints, it’s that I didn’t enjoy it enough to want to continue with the series.

I definitely recommend the series for those who are interested in mysteries taking place post World War I.

I give this book a solid 4 paws out of 5.

“Harriet Rose Mystery”
Death of a Celebrity #1 [April 19, 2017]
Death of a Liar #2 [April 22, 2017]
Death of a Salesman #3 [April 24, 2017]

While the mystery aspect wasn’t all that great (because there was a fact revealed that wasn’t mentioned anywhere previously), the story itself was totally worth reading.

Mystery author Harriet moved from NYC to a small conclave on the Massachusetts coast when she wins an Inn.

This was a nice, leisurely book, epitomizing what a cozy mystery should be. I enjoyed it so much, I immediately purchased the second book and look forward to reading it tonight.

[25 April, 2017] I enjoyed the first book so much, I not only read book #2 but also book #3!

As with book #1, the actual solution to the mystery was so-so, but the writing and the characters overcome that flaw. If I have any serious complaints, it’s that the author seriously needs a good editor. There were more than a few sentences that I had to read more than once and even then, they didn’t make sense. Thankfully, it didn’t detract from the over all books.

A solid 4 paws out of 5 for the series!

“Harley Hill Mysteries”
Murder on the Hill (#1) [April 17, 2017]

I read the first page and gave up.

I have no idea why I couldn’t continue the read but life’s too short to power through a book I got for free.

Having said all that, I had to give the book 1 paw out of 5. Because I failed to finish the book, I won’t be putting this review on Amazon or Goodreads.

“Riley Reed Cozy Mystery”
Murdered in the Man Cave (#1) [April 17, 2017]

Design blogger Riley finds her former paramour (now a very well-known mystery writer) dead in his house. His niece and her nefarious boyfriend are accused leaving Riley to find out whodunit.

It was a well-written book, however, when I can figure out who did the deed without really putting any effort into to it, it’s not that great a “mystery.”

3.5 Paws — It was a good first read; doubtful I’ll do a re-read or read more in the series.

“A Pet Psychic Mystery”
Lady Luck Runs Out (#2) [Jun 01, 2016]
Karma’s A Bitch (#1) [May 28, 2016]

Darwin (love the name) leaves her home to open up a Pet Boutique in Florida. She has a magic ability in that she can receive psychic impressions from animals, especially when they suffer a traumatic situation. She uses this special ability to track down the truth behind the pet’s person’s demise. As the two books unfold, we find out that she has comes from a magical family and she had a reason to leave her family (mostly she wanted to deny her heritage.)

Darwin is surrounded by fantastic characters including a woman who was homeless and hit the lottery, but never forgot her homeless roots.

Amazon had the Kindle version for free and I enjoyed the first book so much that I went ahead and paid full price (gasp) for. There’s a third book available, but I decided I needed to make my way through the pile of books that are filling up my iPhone.

4.5 Paws Up! I probably would have given it a full 5 paws if I had gone ahead if I immediately purchased the third book after finishing the second.

“Mt. Abrams Mystery”
A Mother’s Day Murder (#1) [(May 20, 2016]

This is a true laid-back cozy mystery set in a fairly affluent small town. The characters were fun, the writing excellent and the mystery was pretty good.
4 Paws

“The Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries”
Death Runs in the Family (#3) [May 17, 2016]

I loved this book. Truly. Well written and just plain fun. Plus, the protagonists are Hispanic and it’s so nice to see minorities taking the lead.

I will definitely be reading the rest of the books in the series because I really enjoyed the characters and the plot was pretty decent.
5 Paws!

“Culinary Competition”
Pies & Peril (#1) [May 12, 2016]


Mary Sue goes cooking. I hated the lead character. The rest of the characters were “ok,” and the plot, eh.
2 Paws — read if you get it for free. Maybe not even then.

“A Bree MacGowan Mystery”
California Schemin’ (#2) [May 12, 2016]

Jeebus, this book bit.

The heroine goes hither and yon. Gets kidnapped, beaten up, etc. It was a lame attempt at political intrigue, adventure, and mystery.
2 Paws — Read Only if you are desperate.

Death of a Crafty Knitter [May 02, 2016]

This is a pretty good book that takes place in “mumble” Oregon. Gift shop owner keeps stumbling upon dead bodies. The lead character, Stormy Day (love the name) is great and she has a sweet Russian Blue by the name of Jeffrey. What’s not to love. No, seriously. While I really enjoyed this book, I haven’t gone out to get any of the other books in the series, but don’t let that deter you from reading.
4 Paws

Murder In The Library [Apr 26, 2016]

This is my second so-called Christian mystery and it was a fairly enjoyable one. I really liked the way that God was relaying clues to one of the detectives each day. What I found interesting is that the author didn’t necessarily explain how it related to the case, but many times left it up to the reader to make the connection. This was very effective with the last clue. The religious aspect of the book didn’t dominate, but rounded out the characters. Having said all that, I just wasn’t bowled-over by the characters or the mystery.
3.5 Paws

“Poppy Peters”
Southern Peach Pie and a Dead Guy (#1) [Apr 20, 2016]

Poppy is a former ballerina who can no longer dance, so she decides to go to the same pastry school as her Grandmother. Don’t read this book if you are in love with pastries and can’t stand reading how they are made in detail – otherwise, you’ll drool on your Kindle. I enjoyed the book enough that if I find them on sale, I might just indulge.
4 Paws Up!

Death by a Honeybee [Apr 15, 2016]

If keeping bees was good enough for Sherlock Holmes, it’s a good enough subject for a mystery. Unfortunately, while the story was good, the mystery decent, the author broke (for me) a cardinal rule of writing: don’t jerk the audience around. The book literally ends on a cliff-hangar and is resolved within the first few chapters of the next book, which were “thankfully” included with this kindle edition. C’mon, we’re not dolts and idiots. Who thought it was a good idea to edit the books this way? Judging from the comments on GoodReads, I wasn’t just the only one. This book would have gained more than a 3.52/5.00 rating if not for that. I gave it barely 3 Paws because I don’t like being jerked around at 1am.
Geh, 3 Paws

“Cue Ball Mysteries”
Playing With Poison ( #1) [Apr 09, 2016]

Bodice ripper romantic author (who put herself through college by pool hustling), finds herself enmeshed in a murder and interesting characters. And she has a cat (always a plus!). It’s a good, solid read, and I give it the highest praise (other than 5 Paws), I would mind reading another one in the series.
5 Paws!

“Hetta Coffey Mystery”
Just The Pits (#5) [Apr 04, 2016]

Hetta is a Jill-of-all-Trades and she owns a really sweet boat. She gets called in when there’s bad juju on a project. The mystery was pretty decent, I loved her friends and the scenery in Mexico was amazing. Prepare one of those fruity drinks with a parasol and delve right in, the water’s fine. Having said all that, I don’t see myself reading any more of her adventures unless it’s free because it wasn’t quite my cup of tea — more adventure than cozy.
4.5 Paws up!

“Raina Sun Murder Mystery Series”
Raining Men and Corpses (#1)

This is one of the few books that has a minority character as the lead. Unfortunately, all she does is whine and pine for her lost love who miraculously shows up in the same small town. Be that as it may, it was nice to see an Asian as the lead and learn a bit about the culture (there wasn’t much presented but what little presented was interesting). I found the mystery itself a bit on the boring, the characters not all that interesting (except for Raina’s grandmother) and the only reason I finished it was to see whodunit. I don’t see myself reading any further books in this series.
A miserable 3 Paws.

“A Fuschia Minnesota Mystery”
Granny Hooks a Crook (#1)


Once I start a book, I really do want to finish it, despite the struggle. I am currently half-way through the book and it’s going to be an effort to finish. Having cut my teeth on fanfic, I’m willing to let the author create the world, but the world has to be a reasonable one. In this the case, I don’t even think the author is trying. The story tries to be humorous and barely cracks the surface. If this book has a bang-up ending, I might change my mind.

Right now, this barely earns 2 Paws out of 5.
(03/19/2016 — my opinion hasn’t changed, while the solution to the mystery was fairly interesting, it didn’t improve my rating of 2 paws.)

“Wonder Cats Mystery”
Un-fur-tunate Murders (#6) [Aug 13, 2017]
A Hiss-tory of Magic (#1)
Pawsitively Dead (#2)
Cat-astrophic Spells (#3)
The Scariest Tail (#4)
Purr-fect Getaway (#5) [Jun 09, 2016]

These books are a perfect mixture of paranormal (witches) with cats who act like cats but also have supernatural powers. The characters are great, the mysteries really good (and scary) and the cats, well, they are wonderful kitties (much better behaved than my lot). The only thing I can crab about is that the author left #4 on a semi-cliff hanger! Highly recommended!

Since Purr-fect Getaway, book 5 had just come out and I managed to snag a very reasonable priced copy ($.99), I decided I should write up a more detailed review.

The book picks up from book 4, where the three witches are trying to recover from their ordeal in book 4 with Cath having seemingly suffered the most. Of course, this wouldn’t be a paranormal book if the three of them didn’t end up at a lovely spa that wasn’t haunted. They figure out what was behind all the strange business, fix it and seem to have a good time while there. Cath spends most of the book healing herself from the events of book 4 as well as contemplating her relationship. Fortunately for her, she meets another potential boyfriend… but that’s where the book ends. I’m really not fond of author’s who leave readers hanging. I find it fine if author’s want to having an arc through out the series, but please, complete the book. Your readers will love you for it!
I rate Purr-fect Getaway, book 5, a solid 4.5 Paws!

Five Paws for the series!

“A Witch P.I. Mystery”
Witch Is When It All Began (#1)

An adopted young lady who took over the family private investigator business from her father (who wasn’t a warlock) finds out that she’s a witch. She has a companion cat Winky who makes Grumpy cat a saint. This is one of the few books were I didn’t really like the supporting cast, especially her sister. I opted not to continue reading the series based on the review comments that say that the sister acts worse.
3.5 Paws

“Cozy Cat Caper Mystery”
Murder in Cherry Hills (#1)

Decent mystery featuring reluctant amateur detective and a cat. This is a good book for curling up on the couch with a feline besides you.
3.5 Paws

“Rebecca Schwartz”
The Sourdough Wars (#2)

Read this book if you’ve been to San Francisco or live there, otherwise, it’s a decent mystery with good characters. Don’t think I’ll read the rest of the series though.
3.5 Paws

“Vanessa Abbot Cat Cozy Mystery Series Book”
Murder Under The Catwalk (#6)

I love reading cozies featuring cats but when the cats don’t act much like cats (the exception would be if the kitty’s person is a witch, etc.) and “save the day,” I was done.
Barely 3 Paws

“Myrtle Clover Mystery”
A Body in the Trunk (#12) [01/31/2018]
Cooking is Murder (#11) [08/27/2017]
Cruising for Murder (#10) [05/09/2017]
Pretty is as Pretty Dies (#1)
Progressive Dinner Deadly (#2)
A Dyeing Shame (#3)
A Body in the Backyard (#4)
Death at a Drop-In (#5)
A Body at Book Club (#6)
Death Pays a Visit (#7)
A Body at Bunco (#8)
Murder On Opening Night (#9)

Now this was a series that I absolutely loved. I was able to get the second book for free and was instantly hooked, purchasing the rest of the series and gobbling them up! Myrtle is an octogenarian retired school teacher who is perfectly self-sufficient but willing to play the old card when it suits her purposes. My kind of lady! Highly recommended, especially if you enjoy your mysteries with a chuckle.
5 Paws High!

“Cruise Ship Christian Cozy Mysteries”

Starboard Secrets (#1)

It’s not that I’m against religious tomes, but I don’t think I would have downloaded this free book from Amazon if I had noted it was a Christian mystery. I decided to take the plunge and was pleasantly surprised. While there was some mention of religion, it didn’t overwhelm the story. Perhaps it needed to because this wasn’t a really good book or mystery. From the reviews I read from other readers, it didn’t give much of an accurate depiction of a cruise, which was why I decided to download it. I did manage to score another in the series at no cost, so I’ll be curious to read if the author has improved.
2 Paws for effort.

Lethal Lobster (#3) [05/27/2017]
Another one of the books in the series was free, so I grabbed it. It was pretty much like the first book except I thought the mystery itself was a tad bit better. I still won’t necessarily recommend the series, but for a free book, it was pretty decent.
2.5 Paws.

“Whistler’s Cove Cozy Mystery Series Book”
Cozy Mysteries: The Art & Craft of Murder (#1)

This mystery was definitely worth reading but I can’t actually remember enough of it to give a proper review.
3.5 Paws because I don’t recall it sucking up the joint.

“Daisy McDare”
Daisy McDare and the Deadly Directorial Affair (#3)
Daisy McDare and the Deadly Real Estate Affair (#4)

I really don’t know why I bothered reading two of these books because they while they didn’t suck, they were merely OK. The character loves her sweets and solves mysteries. Blah.
Barely 3 Paws.

“A Pattie Lansbury Cat Cozy Mystery”
Cat Sleuth (#1)
Murder and a Song (#2)
The Escapee and the Case of the Cat-Napper (#3)
Murder Most Familiar (#4)

These are true cozy mysteries and should be read in order because the books/stories form an over-arching storyline. If you like cats and gentile British cozy mysteries, grab these.
4 Paws!

“Liz Lucas Mystery”
Murder in Cottage #6 (#1)
The Death Card (#3)

Terrible, just terrible and I really dislike saying this. It takes a lot of effort to write a book and I admire the author for doing this. But I can’t recommend her series. I read one book because it was free and grabbed another for .99c. The author’s characters speak in long (and I mean long) passages, without taking a breath or having another character mercifully interrupt.
Barely 2 Paws.

“Magical Cure Mystery”
A Charming Crime (#1)

This book was my first foray into a serious paranormal mystery featuring witches and other denizens of that ilk. The heroine is a witch who eats too many sweets. She has a cute cat though. I gave it Four Paws because I’d be willing to read more in the series, but I’m not going out of my way to obtain them.
4 Paws

“Old Maids of Mercer Island Mysteries”
A History of Murder (#3) [Aug 19, 2017]
Inn Keeping with Murder (#1)
A Candidate For Murder (#2)

This is another series I really enjoyed and not because it takes place on Mercer Island in Washington State (known for being the home of Paul Allen, Microsoft Millionaire) but it’s well-written paranormal mystery that actually boasts a multi-ethnic cast (The “Cats in the Stack Mystery” series also features a multi-ethnic cast as well)! Don’t be put off by “paranormal” because it doesn’t overwhelm the stories, rather it adds “charm.”
5 Paws!

“Joe Grey”
Cat Shining Bright (#20) [Sept 27, 2017]
Cat Shouts for Joy (#19) [Aug 04, 2017]
Cat Bearing Gifts (#18) [Jul 14, 2017]
Cat Telling Tales (#17) [Jun 23, 2017]
Cat Coming Home (#16) [Dec 23, 2015]
Cat Striking Back (#15) [05/27/2017]
Cat Pay the Devil (#12) [May 22, 2016]
Cat Breaking Free (#11) [May 06, 2016]
Cat Cross Their Graves (#10) [Apr 28, 2016]
Cat Fear No Evil (#9) [Apr 21, 2016]
Cat Seeing Double (#8) [Apr 15, 2016]
Cat Laughing Last (#7) [Apr 10, 2016]
Cat on the Money [“#6.5”] [May 22, 2016]
Cat Spitting Mad (#6) [Apr 04, 2016]
Cat To The Dogs (#5) [Apr 01, 2016]
Cat in the Dark (#4) [Mar 28, 2016]
Cat Raise the Dead (#3) [Mar 27, 2016]
Cat Under Fire (#2) [(Mar 21, 2016]
Cat on the Edge (#1) [Mar 23, 2016]

Sit back because this one is going to take a bit of explanation. Joe Grey is a cat. He is a cat who helps to solve murders, and oh yes, he can talk to certain humans. Believe me, I was skeptical but the author pulls it off. While this was sold in the cozy section, I wouldn’t call it a cozy, but more of a noir kind of mystery. I enjoyed the latest book so much, I’m going to start from the beginning and read the series, assuming that it won’t break the bank.
5 Paws!

Murder Takes A Holiday: An Izzy Greene Senior Snoops Cozy Mystery

Another book that barely registered. It didn’t suck because I finished it and don’t remember it specifically sucking. I’m guessing this is worth 3 Paws.

Christmas Cozy Mystery Gift Bundle: Cozy Mystery Box Set

These two stories barely registers with me as I can hardly remember what the stories were about. They didn’t strain any grey cells and were mildly enjoyable.
3 Paws

“Hamish Macbeth”
A Highland Christmas (#16)

I’ve read other M.C. Beaton’s mysteries which is why I chose this one. This mystery is full of the slice of life of living in Scotland during the winter. Brrr.
5 Paws

“Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries”
Snow Place to Die (#13)

One of the few mysteries without any kind of critter. A longish but excellent snowed-in-and-folks-are-being-killed mystery. Highly Recommended!
4 Paws

“Cats in the Stack Mystery”
Arsenic and Old Books [06/10/2017]
Twelve Angry Librarians [05/13/2017]
No Cats Allowed #7) [05/11/2017]
Classified as Murder (#2)
File M for Murder (#3)
Out of Circulation (#4)
The Silence of the Library (#5)

Librarian Charlie and his Maine Coon Diesel solve mysteries. I should actually say that Charlie solves the mysteries and Diesel acts like a real cat. Notable for having a multi-ethnic cast of characters.
Five Paws Up!

Until We Come Up With Something Witty To Say…