Review: Death by Bubble Tea by Jennifer J. Chow

Description (from cover): “Two cousins who start a food stall at their local night market get a serving of murder in this first novel of a delicious new cozy mystery series by Jennifer J. Chow, bestselling author of Mimi Lee Gets a Clue.

When Yale Lee 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.”

My Thoughts:

Oh this book. I really wanted to love it. The characters are well-developed, the story line is cute, the Chinese-American food culture is intriguing and interesting; however, the mystery fell flat. Yale Lee is a loner. She eschews technology for books and she is just floating through life her way until she is laid off from her job at a local bookshop. Not knowing what to do next, she turns to her father who owns a restaurant for income. Her father has a great idea for Yale to lead the food stall branch of the restaurant and gives her free rein to do as she pleases with this new business venture. She is surprised when her cousin Celine flies in from Hong Kong under mysterious circumstances and her father pushes the two of them to work together. Yale is a little concerned as her cousin is a well-known Instagram influencer and has a completely different outlook on life. Just trying to make the best of it, Yale placates her cousin and just goes along with the flow.

All is well until one of the customers at the food stall is found dead by Yale later that evening after the night market has closed. The murder weapon is suspected to be Yale and Celine’s bubble tea that was served to the victim earlier that evening. When the police begin investigating, they hone in on Yale and her cousin as the prime suspects. Yale is determined to clear her name and that of her father’s restaurant and sets out on her own investigation. Celine is eager to help and Yale and Celine begin their investigation much to the police’s chagrin.

I had problems with this mystery. At times the clues were so obvious and the characters were clueless as to what to do with them. I felt like I was screaming at them in my head to get it together. That was frustrating to say the least. However, I loved the premise of the storyline. This is a quirky new cozy series featuring food and the LA food scene that has a lot of potential. The characters are well-developed, engaging and it is easy to like them. I am not ready to throw in the towel on this series, as it has a lot of promise. I will wait to read the next in the series, Hot Pot Murder, which appears to be coming in June 2023. I am hoping that this is a case of the debut blues and that the series will continue to emerge and engage the reader moving forward. Not the best cozy debut, but this series has so much potential to be a delightful cozy series.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Author: Jennifer J. Chow

Series: LA Night Market Mystery #1

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: July 5, 2022

Pages: 300

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Fair Lady, Masked by Maggie MacKeever

Description (from cover): “An actress in her time plays many parts. This may be Delia’s last.

New York, 1890. Is no one what they seem?

Delia Ross has freed herself from society’s expectations. Luke Kelly has not. The emancipated actress and the disapproving police detective set out for Saratoga in pursuit of a fugitive jewel thief. Along the way they will encounter collusions and contrivances, diabolical double-dealings, a talented table-turner and a murderer and, maybe, a very irritated ghost.”

My Thoughts:

Delia Ross, an actress who has made a name for herself on the stage has found herself in a new role, an investigator for the New York police. When the police approach Delia about pretending to be the widow of an Italian Marchese to see if she can assist them with locating a jewel thief, she jumps at the chance to try something new while not knowing that this might be her most dangerous role to date. The investigation begins in Saratoga, New York, where the cousin of the jewel thief is a medium who the police are concerned may be in contact with the thief. Delia must keep her eyes and ears open and try to locate the thief who may be disguised as anyone. Delia enlists the help of her disabled and feminist sister in her investigation.

This book was a little chaotic at times. I really enjoyed Delia’s character, but there wass some room for improvement. I also found that it was really hard to keep up with who all the characters were. At times, I was so confused as to who was doing what and who they were. I can’t even tell you what happened at the ending as it was so confusing. Despite this, I really liked the premise of the story and the mystery and think that the series has some potential even if it needs to be a little more clearer to the reader what is happening. I felt overwhelmed reading this book, especially at the end.

While this book has a lot of room for improvement, I really did enjoy the main characters of Delia and her sister and think that that the author has a good start for some great characters. I would like to see what happens next in the series and I am hoping that this is just a case of the debut blues that sometimes affects new series. Not the best book I have read, but the series does hold some potential for the future and I would give this series another shot before not continuing further with the series.

Overall Rating: 1.5 stars

Author: Maggie MacKeever

Series: A Gay Nineties Mystery #1

Publisher: Vintage Ink Press

Publication Date: July 1, 2022

Pages: 240

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Dairy, Dairy, Quite Contrary by Amy Lillard

Description (from cover): “Looking for a fresh start, advice columnist Sissy Yoder heads to small-town Yoder, Kansas, to help in her aunt’s café. But when a milkman is murdered, the newcomer becomes the prime suspect…

After Sissy’s rodeo cowboy boyfriend turns out to be more of a rodeo clown, she packs a bag; picks up her Yorkshire terrier Duke; and leaves Tulsa, Oklahoma, bound for her parents’ former hometown. There are still plenty of Yoders in Yoder, Kansas, including Sissy’s aunt Bethel, who owns the Sunflower Café but recently broke her leg. It’s a homecoming of sorts as Sissy arrives to help in the café and reunite with her pregnant cousin Lizzie. Plus she can continue to secretly write her newspaper advice column as seventy-year-old “Aunt Bess.” But it’s Sissy who could use some advice when she finds the milk deliveryman out behind the café with a knife in his back. As the sheriff’s prime suspect, it’s up to Sissy to catch the backstabber herself–before someone else gets creamed…”

My Thoughts:

Sissy Yoder’s life has fallen apart in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has broken up with her boyfriend, moved out of her apartment, and her life seems to be up in the air. When her aunt breaks her leg and needs help in Yoder, Kansas with her café, Sissy decides life has just handed her a second chance or at least a break so she can figure out what to do next. When she arrives in Yoder, her aunt is not happy to see her. She doesn’t need help with the café, even if she has a broken leg. Just when things couldn’t get worse, Sissy finds the milk deliveryman dead behind the café, with a knife sticking out of his back. Being the newest member of the community, the police chief is dead set on her as the main suspect. He is constantly watching her and waiting for her to make a mistake. She is determined that she must solve the crime on her own, before she ends up wrongfully accused of murder.

In this fictional small town of Yoder, the Amish are a huge part of the community. They eschew electricity, drive tractors instead of cars and have their own ways of living among the English. Sissy enjoys the quiet life in the small town and it takes some adjustment coming from a big city to such a slower pace of life. She finds it peaceful except for the cloud of suspicion of murder hanging over her head. In a small town where everyone has known each other since birth and the ties are strong, she must clear her name at any costs.

This book is the first in what appears to be a promising cozy mystery series. I love the Amish and how they prefer to live simple lives and the author did a great job of researching and painting the scene for the reader. I really enjoyed Sissy’s character and hope that she decides to end up in Yoder despite the increasing crime rates. This book has a lot of promise and it was a nice quick little cozy read that was perfect to read on a rainy Saturday. A fantastic read that deserves more attention in the future. So glad that I got to read this and cannot wait to see what happens next in the small Amish village of Yoder.

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars

Author: Amy Lillard

Series: Sunflower Café Mystery #1

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: June 28, 2022

Pages: 306

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna

Description (from cover): “Mystery with a splash of romance…

Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.”

My Thoughts:

Emma and Grace are friends who are journalists for the Chicago Tribune who are covering a charity ball for the paper. Emma is tagging along with her friend Grace who is actually covering the story and didn’t want to attend by herself. They are transported to the world of wealth and riches in a mansion outside of Chicago where it seems that they can escape the world for a little bit. When they arrive, their hostess shows them an extremely expensive necklace that will be auctioned off that night for charity and the evening begins without a hitch. When Emma goes to the study looking for her friend, she stumbles across the hostess’ brother-in-law who is unconscious on the floor. He seems to have been hit on the head and they attribute it to his drinking and brush it off. That is until they find the safe open and the rare necklace has vanished.

Emma is automatically suspect number one. She was the one who found the man unconscious and the safe wide open under mysterious circumstances. Emma knows that she is not the one who has committed the crime, but she is struggling to get the handsome police detective to believe her. He sets out on investigating everyone at the party and while there are plenty of other suspects, the detective seems to be honed in on her for the theft. Deciding that no one can clear her name except herself, she is determined to listen behind doors and find a better suspect for the robbery other than herself.

This book was a quick little read. I enjoyed reading it and found that I read it in one day. I will say that at times it was hard to keep up with all of the characters as there seemed to be so many and I got a little confused on who was who. Also, there was many references to a statue that was spelled as “statute” throughout the book. I am hoping that got cleaned up on the final edit, because that was a little distracting for me. All in all, this book was a cute little read and I wouldn’t be opposed to reading more installments in the future.

Overall Rating: 3 stars

Author: Elizabeth McKenna

Series: A Front Page Mystery #1

Publisher: Self Published

Publication Date: May 29, 2019

Pages: 206

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: The Self-Made Widow by Fabian Nicieza

Description (from cover): “From the cocreator of Deadpool and author of Suburban Dicks comes a diabolically funny murder mystery that features two unlikely sleuths investigating a murder that reveals the dark underbelly of suburban marriage.

After mother of five and former FBI profiler Andrea Stern solved a murder–and unraveled a decades-old conspiracy–in her New Jersey town, both her husband and the West Windsor police hoped that she would set aside crime-fighting and go back to carpools, changing diapers, and lunches with her group of mom-friends, who she secretly calls The Cellulitists. Even so, Andie can’t help but get involved when the husband of Queen Bee Molly Goode is found dead. Though all the signs point to natural causes, Andie begins to dig into the case and soon risks more than just the clique’s wrath, because what she discovers might hit shockingly close to home.

Meanwhile, journalist Kenny Lee is enjoying a rehabilitated image after his success as Andie’s sidekick. But when an anonymous phone call tips him off that Molly Goode killed her husband, he’s soon drawn back into the thicket of suburban scandals, uncovering secrets, affairs, and a huge sum of money. Hellbent on justice and hoping not to kill each other in the process, Andie and Kenny dust off their suburban sleuthing caps once again.”

My Thoughts:

This book is the second in the Suburban Dicks mystery series. I read the first book, Suburban Dicks, after I was selected to review this second book in the series. The first book in this series was great, but this book was even better. I really have come to enjoy the characters as they are not perfect, yet they have the talent to solve mysteries that seem impossible to solve. Andie is a mother of five children in suburban New Jersey, where the rich like to play and keep secrets from one another. Kenny Lee is a reporter who after redeeming himself, is struggling to find his place in the world. When another mystery comes up, Andie reaches out to Kenny to help her solve the death of her friend’s husband. It appears that he died of natural causes, but Andie cannot let the feeling go that something isn’t quite right about the whole situation.

I felt like this book was better than the first. I am not sure if it is because I really came to enjoy the characters in the first book, or what, but I couldn’t put this book down. This book hits closer to home as it involves one of Andie’s only friends in her small town. She has suspicions but it seems that her friends are also hiding secrets and she doesn’t know who to trust, including her own husband. She can’t seem to let the feeling go that something is wrong and she is determined to find out what is going on even at the cost of her own family.

The character development in this book was phenomenal and the ending leaves the reader with a cliff-hanger. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment as I need to see how everything plays out. The author has done a great job of creating a modern day mystery series that is simply engaging and thrilling from the very first page. If you can get a copy of this book or the first book in the series, I highly recommend that you do as you will not be disappointed.

Overall Rating: 5+ stars

Author: Fabian Nicieza

Series: Suburban Dicks Mystery #2

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publication Date: June 21, 2022

Pages: 400

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: In Place of Fear by Catriona McPherson

Description (from cover): Helen leaned close enough to fog the mirror with her breath and whispered, ‘You, my girl, are a qualified medical almoner and at eight o’clock tomorrow morning you will be on the front line of the National Health Service of Scotland.’ Her eyes looked huge and scared. So take a shake to yourself!'”

Edinburgh, 1948. Helen Crowther leaves a crowded tenement home for her very own office in a doctor’s surgery. Upstart, ungrateful, out of your depth – the words of disapproval come at her from everywhere but she’s determined to take her chance and play her part.

She’s barely begun when she stumbles over a murder and learns that, in this most respectable of cities, no one will fight for justice at the risk of scandal. As Helen resolves to find a killer, she’s propelled into a darker world than she knew existed, hardscrabble as he own can be. Disapproval is the least of her worries now.”

My Thoughts:

Helen Crowther is from the slums of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1948 and has to deal with the wrath of her family and the others of her peers when she becomes a medical almoner for a doctor’s office. Since Scotland has now joined the National Health Service the poor of Edinburgh are skeptical about how the new medial system will work. Helen is determined to do the best she can at her job and on her first day she is filled with pride. All is well until she returns to her new home at the end of the work day to find a dead body in the building behind her home. She immediately recognizes the murder victim and sets out to determine why someone would want to kill this young lady. When it appears that the local police and government officials are engaged in a cover up, Helen cannot let things be and she sets out on a course to seek justice for the victim.

I enjoyed this book and while I don’t think the author plans to make it a series, I would be thrilled if she went on to write other books about Helen. I will say that it was hard to understand some of the words being said as the author used Scottish slang in her story. Of course, due to this being an advanced reader’s copy, I noticed at the end there was a glossary of Scottish slang to help the reader understand what is being said. Which is helpful of course, just wish I would have seen it at the beginning instead of the end of the book as that would have been so helpful. I am hoping that the final print version will do this for readers as it will really go along way.

I read this book pretty quickly as it was hard to put down. There was a shocking twist at the end, and I am curious to see how that would play out if the author continued the series. This book has a lot of potential to be a historical mystery series that readers will come to love. A fantastic read for lovers of historical mysteries that is a little different from the norm as it features Scotland in the late 1940’s after World War II and how Scotland was trying to differentiate itself from England and make its own way in the new world. Loved this book and have my fingers crossed for more in the future.

Overall Rating: 4 stars

Author: Catriona McPherson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication Date: April 14, 2022

Pages: 337

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: The Blue Diamond by Leonard Goldberg

Description (from cover): “During a critical stage in World War One, the Governor-General of South Africa journeys to London for a meeting of The Imperial War Conference. Days prior to the conference, the Governor-General is scheduled to have an audience at Buckingham Palace at which time a most precious blue diamond will be presented to King Edward as a symbolic gesture of the colonies’ resolute and never-ending allegiance to England.

The flawless blue diamond, with its magnificent luster, weighs nearly 3000 carats which renders it one of the world’s largest and most valuable gems. On the Governor-General’s arrival, he is ensconced at the fashionable Windsor Hotel under the tightest security, with his entire entourage and formidable security team occupying the entire penthouse floor. All entrances and exits are locked down and closely guarded, and no one is allowed entrance after 6 PM.

Despite the extreme precautions, the famous diamond is stolen from the Governor-General’s suite in the middle of the night, with no clues left behind. With Scotland Yard baffled, Joanna and the Watsons are called in to investigate the theft and it becomes clear that the crime is not simply the work of a master thief, but one that could greatly aid the Germans and turn the tide of war in their favor. Time is of the essence and the blue diamond must be recovered before it begins its travels which could cause irreparable damage to the allied war plans.”

My Thoughts:

This book is the sixth installment of the Daughter of Sherlock Holmes series. It features Joanna Watson, who didn’t know her famous detective father, Sherlock Holmes, but the similarities between the two are uncanny. They are pretty much one and the same. They both have a knack for noticing the finer details that everyone else misses and solving mysteries that seem impossible to resolve. In this book, Joanna has been called in to assist Scotland Yard when a priceless diamond is stolen from a hotel room. The diamond was to be a gift from the Governor-General of South Africa to the King to strengthen their allegiance to one another during World War I. Scotland Yard is once again baffled and Joanna enlists the help of her husband and his father, the famous Doctor John Watson.

I found that this book was enjoyable to read, but it didn’t keep my attention as much as the previous installments of this series. I felt that this book dragged with the storyline in some areas and could have been a little shorter, but nonetheless it was a good read. I really have come to like this series and the author has done a fabulous job of keeping the Sherlock Holmes story alive but creating his own characters with their own narratives. I think that this is one of the better continuations of the Sherlock Holmes stories that I have read. There are a lot of spinoffs out there and I have read a lot of them because I have long since loved the famous fictional detective.

While this was not the best book in the series, I do highly recommend this series to anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes. It appears that the seventh book in this series is going to be published next year. I am hoping that one is better than this one, but I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for Joanna moving forward in the series.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Author: Leonard Golberg

Series: Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mystery #6

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Pages: 330

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Clause of Death by Lorna Barrett

Description (from cover): “Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, are the co-presidents of the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce. Things are changing in the booktown, and some merchants would say not for the better. They grumble that too many non-book-related stores are moving into the village, taking up the most visible storefronts on Main Street, diluting the “Booktown” moniker. Of course, the members with other businesses, like the latest, The Bee’s Knees, are fine with other businesses moving in. No matter what side of the argument they’re on, all the business owners agree on one thing: Tricia and Angelica are to blame.

Still, it’s a pretty typical day in the life of a small-town Chamber of Commerce until one of the disgruntled bookstore owners is killed — Eli Meier from The Inner Light Bookstore, the most vocal of the Chamber complainers. He sold religious and other spiritual books, but also stocked books on wild conspiracy theories and sold incense, crystals, etc. Eli had never been a member of the Chamber until Angelica recently convinced him to join. He hit on her and she, having good taste, turned him down. He hounded (but not stalked) her, and some might think that was a motive for murder.

Stoneham’s new police chief is an old friend of Tricia’s, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to go easy on her sister. One might even say that he’s going to throw the book at her.”

My Thoughts:

Booktown seems like the perfect place to live. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by books in a quaint New England town? The only downside to Booktown: all the murders. Tricia has long been a resident of Stoneham, New Hampshire which is known for its love of all things books. Her and her sister, Angelica, have made a name for themselves in the small town with their successful businesses and being co-presidents of the local Chamber of Commerce. That being said, some of the other members of the Chamber have different ideas for what businesses should be allowed to open up in Booktown. The most vocal about his discontent at the Chamber meetings is Eli Meier. Eli owns a shop that is known for selling books that champion conspiracy theories and he is known to be a little off his rocker himself. Not one to promote good working relationships with other Chamber members, it is no surprise when Eli is found dead, by Tricia nonetheless.

Tricia is known in the town for being the village jinx as she has stumbled over many murder victims since she moved to Stoneham. When she comes across Eli’s body, she is determined to sit this one out, but with her curious nature and knack for solving murders, she can’t help but investigate. With a new police chief in town and the help of her family and friends, she is determined to find justice for Eli, despite not liking the man at all. This book is the 16th installment of the Booktown mysteries. I fell in love with this series many years ago and anytime a new book is released, you can guarantee that I will be reading it. The characters are so well-developed and feel like your own family. This book does not disappoint and the ending will leave you on the edge of your seat waiting anxiously for the next installment.

I ended up devouring this book in one day. I couldn’t put the book down as the plot was so suspenseful and engaging throughout each page. Another fantastic delivery from Lorna Barrett that doesn’t disappoint. I have found that readers of this series, continue to come back to this well written and spectacular series and simply cannot get enough. If you haven’t discovered this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Overall Rating: 5+ stars

Author: Lorna Barrett

Series: Booktown Mystery #16

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: June 7, 2022

Pages: 334

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Die Around Sundown by Mark Pryor

Description (from cover): “Summer 1940: In German-occupied Paris, Inspector Henri Lefort has been given just five days to solve the murder of a German major that took place in the Louvre Museum. Blocked from the crime scene but given a list of suspects, Henri encounters a group of artists, including Pablo Picasso, who know more than they’re willing to share.

With the clock ticking, Henri must uncover a web of lies while overcoming impossible odds to save his own life and prove his loyalty to his country. Will he rise to the task or become another tragic story of a tragic time?

Five days. One murder. A masterpiece of a mystery.”

My Thoughts:

This book was an interesting take on WWII. I have never read a book that focuses on what life was like in occupied France during WWII. In this book we meet Henri Lefort, who is a police officer in Paris in 1940. The Germans have taken over the government and have installed their own officers in the police force. When a German officer, who worked at the Louvre Museum going through priceless artwork and artifacts to send back to Motherland, is found murdered, Henri is given a deadline of five days to solve the murder or risk his own life. Using the list of potential suspects provided to him by the German major heading the investigation, Henri reluctantly sets out to solve the murder of one of his enemies.

I really enjoyed how the author portrayed how the French people really resented the Germans during their occupation of France. The French people were bitterly resolved to their occupation, but they did not like the Germans and fought back in any way that they could. Henri loathes the Germans, but knows that going against them would lead to his arrest or death. Henri conducts his investigation as only he knows how, by seeking the truth at no matter what cost. With the help of his sister, friends and even Pablo Picasso, Henri is resolved to see this investigation through all the way to the end.

There were so many twists and turns in this book and not everything is as it appears to be. I literally gasped aloud at certain times in this book because of the surprises I did not see coming. I really enjoyed this book and the way it portrayed a different side of WWII in occupied France. I highly recommend this book for lovers of historical mystery set in WWII with a different take on things and can’t wait to see if there is more in store for this series in the future.

Overall Rating: 4 stars

Author: Mark Pryor

Series: N/A

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: August 16, 2022

Pages: 321

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry

Description (from cover): “Bestselling thriller writer Tess Harrow is almost at the end of her rope when she arrives with her teenage daughter at her grandfather’s rustic cabin in the woods. She hopes this will be a time for them to heal and bond after Tess’s recent divorce, but they’ve barely made it through the door when an explosion shakes the cabin. Suddenly it’s raining fish guts and…is that a human arm?

Tess was hardly convincing Gertie that a summer without Wi-Fi and running water would be an adventure. Now she’s thrust into a murder investigation, neighbors are saying they’ve spotted Bigfoot in the woods near her cabin, and the local sheriff is the spitting image of her character Detective Gabriel Gonzales–something he’s less than thrilled about. With so much more than her daughter’s summer plans at stake, it’s up to Tess to solve this case before anyone else gets hurt.

Put your sleuthing hat on–Buried in a Good Book features:

  • A thriller writer who knows way more than anyone should about death and dismemberment
  • Her young daughter who’s more intrigued by dead bodies than she probably should be
  • An isolated cabin in the woods that’s probably–definitely–hiding something
  • The tiny mountain town that seems less than troubled by a sudden abundance of murders”

My Thoughts:

Rarely is there a debut in a cozy mystery series that really grabs my attention from the get go and doesn’t disappoint. This was such a book. I really enjoyed Tess’s character and found her to be very relatable. She is a an author of thrillers, a mom of teenager, and has just been through a divorce. Dealing with a moody teenager and trying to escape life for a little bit, Tess and her daughter arrive at her grandfather’s isolated cabin in the middle of the woods. Little does she know, her peaceful vacation will be anything but serene. When a lady is found murdered in the pond behind the cabin, Tess cannot help but get herself involved in the murder investigation. With the threat of Bigfoot lurking in the woods, a sheriff who is less than forthcoming, a teenager who is less than thrilled to be in the middle of nowhere, Tess must use her own smarts to outwit a killer.

This book made me laugh. There was one part where Tess is complaining that she needs to wash her hair as she looks like Marie Antoinette from all of the dry shampoo she has used. This resonated with my soul. I am a queen of dry shampoo and made me really enjoy Tess’s sense of humor. Tess is quirky and her sense of justice really drives her to find out what exactly is going on in the secluded woods around the cabin. Odd things just keep happening and nothing is adding up. Tamara Berry is a delightful author and I am glad that there are already additional books in this series. I have just picked up the second book in this series, On Spine of Death, for review and I simply cannot wait to read it.

If you are looking for a cute, whimsical, funny, and engaging cozy mystery, this book will not disappoint. I am curious to see how the author plans to develop the characters throughout the series and will definitely keep an eye out for what comes next. I highly recommend this book to all cozy mystery lovers and others who just want to read an engaging mystery. I simply couldn’t put this book down and hope others will enjoy this one as much as I did.

Overall Rating: 5+ stars

Author: Tamara Berry

Series: By the Book Mystery #1

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press

Publication Date: May 24, 2022

Pages: 291

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.