Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading Little Shop of Murders by Lise McClendon, Diane Kelly, and more. 

Little Shop of Murders is an anthology of fifteen short stories, all cozy mysteries. All the mysteries included are set in shops, although some are businesses rather than actually stores. I've read about brazen thieves, missing money, a missing cat, skeevy real estate agents, vandalism, and more. There's some burgeoning romance, paranormal beings, and lots of pets. Some characters are part of established series, some will soon get their own series, and some are special to this book. Each story can easily be read in one sitting and I'm enjoying getting to know several authors who are new to me.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Cinnamon Twisted - A Spotlight

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on a new release that's on my TBR pile. Cinnamon Twisted by Ginger Bolton is the seventh in the Deputy Donut Mystery series and is being released today!


An ordinary late-spring afternoon for Deputy Donut Cafe owner Emily Westhill becomes one that will remain baked into her memory from the moment a customer gives Emily’s cat a toy donut and then flees Deputy Donut, dropping an earring in her panic. Concerned about the customer, Emily attempts to return the earring . . . only this time the customer doesn’t have a pulse. Things get more complicated when an ambitious police detective finds the earring and an unsealed envelope addressed to Emily at the murder scene. The envelope contains a cryptic letter and a fading photograph of a woman standing in front of Emily’s house.

Why did the customer grab her cinnamon twists and flee Deputy Donut? With the detective eying Emily as a prime suspect, Emily is determined to find out. But once a donut-shaped murder weapon is discovered in her own backyard, Emily has no time to lose as she pulls apart the connection between the victim and the strange history of her property—while stopping the real culprit from ensuring her fate is done and sugar-dusted . . .


Sunday, March 26, 2023

A Flicker of a Doubt - A Review & Giveaway


A FLICKER OF A DOUBT by Daryl Wood Gerber
The Fourth Fairy Garden Mystery
Courtney Kelly is happy to create a series of fairy gardens for Violet Vickers who is hosting a fancy tea and art show on her estate. Unfortunately, temperamental artists take center stage when Meaghan’s ex-boyfriend returns to town as the featured artist of the show. Meaghan put the kibosh on their getting back together and then someone coshed him on the head and left him dead on her lawn. When Meaghan's business partner becomes the police's prime suspect Courtney and her righteous fairy, Fiona, will have to sort through clues and a slew of suspects to find the real killer of the mercurial artist.
The fiery temperament of artists, from art gallery owners to painters and even musicians, take center stage in the fourth Fairy Garden Mystery. Though Meaghan had a tumultuous relationship with the victim and his body was found on her property, it's her business partner who catches the eye of the police with an even better motive propelling Courtney into another murder investigation. There's a good mix of suspects including a volatile brother, another artist, and a bevy of women, all with solid motives making for a complex mystery. I love Courtney's approach to investigating. And she has a lot to investigate this go around. There are lots of red herrings to muddy the waters along with complications to her personal life as well.

It's not just the murder mystery that makes for a compelling read. We learn more about Fiona who faces some challenges of her own and see the relationship between Courtney and Brady progress. From friendships to family, human and fairy, it's the character dynamics that make this series stand out.

A FLICKER OF A DOUBT is an enchanting mystery that will captivate you with its engaging characters, well plotted murder, and fairy lore.


 A Flicker of a Doubt (A Fairy Garden Mystery) by Daryl Wood Gerber

About A Flicker of a Doubt 

A Flicker of a Doubt (A Fairy Garden Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series
Setting – California
Kensington Cozies (March 28, 2023)
Paperback: ‎ 320 pages

Fairies are trending hard, especially when it comes to fairy garden décor in Walmart and Target and on Amazon. The latest installment in the nationally bestselling Daryl Wood Gerber's Fairy Garden mysteries is a perfect read for Laura Childs readers and all fans of whimsy and charm.

With a theater foundation tea and an art show planned at Violet Vickers’s estate, Courtney is hired to create charming fairy gardens for the event. It’s not so charming, however, when her best friend Meaghan’s ex-boyfriend turns out to be Violet’s latest artistic protégé. Even worse, not long after Meaghan locks horns with him, his body is found in her yard, bludgeoned with an objet d’murder.

There’s a gallery of suspects, from an unstable former flame to an arts and crafts teacher with a sketchy past. But when the cops focus on Meaghan’s business partner, who’s like a protective older brother to her, and discover he also has a secret financial motive, Courtney decides to draw her own conclusions. Fearing they’re missing the forest for the trees, and with some help from Fiona the sleuthing fairy, she hopes to make them see the light . . .

About Daryl Wood Gerber


Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Fairy Garden Mysteries, Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read. She has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line. And she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and hitch-hike around Ireland alone. You can learn more on her website: httsp://

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Friday, March 24, 2023

Intrigue in Istanbul - A Review


INTRIGUE IN ISTANBUL by Erica Ruth Neubauer
The Fourth Jane Wunderly Mystery

After traveling abroad Jane Wunderly is finally returning to Boston. While she never thought she'd remarry, she's happily engaged and looking forward to introducing Redvers to her father. However, instead of a warm welcome they find a cold empty house and concerning letters. With the threat of losing her family home looming, the couple quickly head back to Europe in search of her father. Once in Istanbul they discover that he has been hunting for a fabled treasure and has gone missing. Is he in danger? Will they be able find him and save the family home in time? Solving these puzzles is a race against the clock with friends and foes popping up to help and hinder when least expected.

With a little bit of romance and a lot of intrigue INTRIGUE IN ISTANBUL is one adventure after another. What starts as a simple bring the fiance home to meet dad becomes a cross continent race to find a father and save a home while also solving an ancient mystery. I love how the mystery develops from a "simple" missing person to a hidden historical artifact, a possible scam, and spies thrown in for good measure.

The characters are wonderfully complex and I love how the relationship between Jane and Redvers continues to evolve. They make such a fantastic team in just about every way possible. Aunt Millie continues to make me laugh and I appreciate the calming presence of her beau.

At times funny, at times pulse pounding, INTRIGUE IN ISTANBUL has puzzles to solve, characters to love, and rich historical and geographical detail. I adore this series and was completely enthralled with this latest addition.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading The Raven Thief by Gigi Pandian. This book is the second in the Secret Staircase Mystery series and was released yesterday. 

Finished with her philandering has-been of a husband Lavinia has not only divorced him, she’s hired Tempest Raj and the Secret Staircase Construction Company to convert his office into a magical space of her own. To celebrate the renovation Lavinia decides to throw a party having convinced Sanjay, the Hindu Houdini, to hold a fake séance to banish Corbin once and for all. Tempest gives a small group a tour of the new space before the séance begins. With everyone joining hands, the scene is set. Just as the call comes to rid Corbin from the space evermore his body comes crashing down onto the table. Murdered. But how? When her grandfather becomes the prime suspect Tempest knows she has no choice but to solve the impossible crime.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Death by Bubble Tea - A Spotlight

Today I'd like to shine a spotlight on a book nominated for Best Humorous Novel at the Lefty Awards. It's also on my TBR pile. Death by Bubble Tea by Jennifer J. Chow is the first book in the L.A. Night Market Mystery series.


When Yale Yee discovers her cousin Celine is visiting from Hong Kong, she is obliged to play tour guide to a relative she hasn’t seen in twenty years. Not only that, but her father thinks it’s a wonderful idea for them to bond by running a food stall together at the Eastwood Village Night Market. Yale hasn’t cooked in years, and she hardly considers Celine’s career as a social media influencer as adequate experience, but because she’s just lost her job at her local bookstore, she feels she has no choice.
Yale and Celine serve small dishes and refreshing drinks, and while business is slow, it eventually picks up thanks to Celine’s surprisingly useful marketing ideas. They’re quite shocked that their bubble tea, in particular, is a hit—literally—when one of their customers turns up dead. Yale and Celine are prime suspects due to the gold flakes that Celine added to the sweet drink as a garnish. Though the two cousins are polar opposites in every way, they must work together to find out what really happened to the victim or the only thing they’ll be serving is time.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Star Tangled Murder - A Guest Post and Giveaway

I'm happy to turn over Cozy Up With Kathy to Nancy J. Cohen today. Nancy writes the Bad Hair Day Mystery series. Star Tangled Murder is the eighteenth book in the series and was released last week.

History and Mystery by Nancy J. Cohen

Bringing history into a contemporary mystery can give added depth to a story. I’ve used this technique several times in my Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. These books feature hairstylist and salon owner Marla Vail, who lives in South Florida with her family and two dogs. While I enjoy reading historical mysteries, I couldn’t bear to do the research required to write one. But I can bring historical elements into my current stories. For example, in Facials Can Be Fatal, I used actual excerpts from my father’s journal detailing his 1935 trip to Florida. Dead Roots takes place at a haunted hotel with a ghost story that traces back to Marla’s Russian roots. And Peril by Ponytail delves into copper mining in Arizona.

For Star Tangled Murder, my latest title, I was inspired by a visit to Yesteryear Village in West Palm Beach. This living history experience has costumed guides who describe early twentieth century life in Florida. It’s a fascinating place to visit and gives a glimpse into our state’s past. I loved the place so much that I decided to set my mystery in a similar location. I renamed it Pioneer Village and populated it with buildings similar to those I’d seen at Yesteryear’s history park. This task was made easier by videos and maps posted online. Next came the fun part of creating characters. This was easy since there was a built-in cast. The schoolhouse, old jail, stately mansion, church, fishing shed, blacksmith shop, farm and general store supplied major players in terms of tour guides who would become suspects.

Then I had to select a victim. Once I’d figured out who had to die, I determined where and how it would happen. But when would this story take place? I’d never done a Fourth of July book, so why not center it around that holiday? Marla and her homicide detective husband, Dalton, attend a historic battle reenactment over Fourth of July weekend at the village. But which battle to use?

I researched reenactments in Florida and decided the Seminole Wars would be the most suitable. Dade's Battle of 1835 acted as a model for my event. Again, I watched videos online to get a sense of the scene. Therein lies the danger of falling down the research rabbit hole. From battle scenes to Fourth of July celebrations to historic descriptions of the pioneer village, I had fun researching this story and learning something new. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Do you appreciate a historical angle in a cozy mystery? 


 Star Tangled Murder (Bad Hair Day Mysteries) by Nancy J Cohen

About Star Tangled Murder

Star Tangled Murder (Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery 18th in Series
Setting - Florida
Orange Grove Press (March 14, 2023)
Paperback: ‎ 284 pages

Hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband get tangled up in murder when their Fourth of July visit to a living history village ends with a bang—and a body.

Salon owner Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton are having a blast visiting a Florida living history village over Fourth of July weekend. But when a Seminole battle reenactment turns up a real dead body, it sets off fireworks among the villagers. One of the cast members has gone off script to murder the town marshal with a tomahawk in his head.

As Dalton gets involved in the investigation, Marla determines to help him solve the case. Her flare for uncovering secrets reveals that everyone in the village is a suspect. Instead of celebrating the holiday with red, white, and barbecues, she discovers secrets, lies, and false avenues. Did the marshal’s murder have anything to do with a lost Confederate payroll, or did his plans to renovate the park light a fuse that he couldn’t snuff out?

In a place where history comes alive, the dead bodies are piling up. Marla would rather be chilling and grilling, but somebody’s mind is on killing. If she’s not careful, her sleuthing might blow up in her face like a faulty firecracker and she'll become the next victim. Recipes Included!

About Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have been named Best Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine, won the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and the RONE Award, placed first in the Chanticleer International Book Awards and third in the Arizona Literary Awards. Her nonfiction titles, Writing the Cozy Mystery and A Bad Hair Day Cookbook, have won the FAPA President’s Book Award, the Royal Palm Literary Award, and IAN Book of the Year. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising, and visiting Disney World.

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