Saturday, March 28, 2020

Book Review: INN OVER HER HEAD : Dusky Cove B&B Cozy Mystery by Dixie Davis

One good thing about being homebound is lots of time to read AND even time to write up reviews... This is a new author for me, maybe for you, too.


Lori Keyes is ready to show some Southern hospitality as the new owner of a B&B—until her first guest winds up dead.

Lori Keyes is excited to settle into her perfect new life: a bed and breakfast owner in the sleepy resort town of Dusky Cove, North Carolina. Sure, her first guest is a little rude and hateful, but that just comes with the hospitality territory sometimes, right?

Lori steels herself to endure one bad guest—until that guest turns up dead. The police investigation says it’s murder, and the evidence points to Lori. She’s instantly the prime suspect.

Lori digs into the guest’s failing marriage and into rivalries in town, trying to figure out who could have killed her. To keep her dream job, her perfect life and the inn over her head, Lori will have to prove that she’s innocent—or she’ll go to jail for a murder she didn’t commit.

A new cozy mystery series set in a Southern small town, featuring a historic inn!


Lori is determined to start a new chapter in her life, hopefully independent of her children. She's an older (50 years old) protagonist and is excited to open the B&B in this new town as her start over venture. Not everyone in Dusky Cove is glad she took over the B&B and that puts a cloud on her happiness. Then her first guest isn't exactly pleasant and doesn't like the changes she's made. And then the guest is murdered. Not quite what Lori had planned. Lori finds some support in Dusky Cove as she tries to figure out who really killed her witchy guest. She has to in order to be sure she doesn't go to jail. Then there's the ever helpful male friend who, despite her Lori's arrest, proposes and wants a quick wedding.

This is an easy read and Lori's personality is consistent with her description of a southern lady, and one who hasn't always been independent. She is a likeable character. She has many of the same hopes and doubts that would be expected, and then the problem of a murder. Readers who like light and fun cozy mysteries will not be disappointed. This is the first in the series and introduces us to others in the small North Carolina town. 

The Dusky Cove B&B Cozy Mystery series:
1. Inn Over Her Head
2. Inn Trouble
3. Inn Vain
4. Inn Dire Straits
5. Inn Danger 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Book Review: DEATH TURNS A TRICK The Rebecca Schwartz Series, Book 1 by Julie Smith



Rebecca Schwartz, nice Jewish lawyer with a few too many fantasies, is happily playing the piano in a whorehouse when she suddenly finds herself assigned to make sure a near-naked state senator escapes a police raid. That dirty job done, a lovely evening turns even more delightful when she’s picked up by the cops and spends the next two hours at the Hall of Justice. Could this day get any worse? Of course! Guess who arrives home to find a dead hooker on her living room floor?

Handsome Parker Phillips, Rebecca’s new beau and the most attractive man she’s met in ages, is arrested for the murder. (Worse, she suspects he might actually have done it.)

On the plus side, another very attractive man is following the case--reporter Rob Burns of the San Francisco Chronicle, a possible ally. And there are other possibilities.


A combination of murder and humor, and all the things that could go wrong for one basically conservative Jewish lawyer? True and motivated in part by Rebecca's serving as legal counsel to the madam of a high end bordello. Then there's Rebecca's more prudish upbringing and her issues with her mother and her father, and her relationships. 

The story moves along quickly, with twists and turns and comedic relief. Rebecca is an interesting and engaging character. She even surprises herself sometimes with her response to situations, not to mention to Parker and his sister. Rob Burns, the newspaper reporter, is likable as well. 

If you like quirky characters, humor, and a mystery, you might give this series a shot. Reader beware - Although not to excess, there is some adult content and language that some may find offensive. This is the first in the Rebecca Schwartz 5-book series. It is available in Audible as well as on kindle and print. A fun read while staying home. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Book Review: MOTORHOMES, MAPS & MURDER A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery #5 by Tonya Kappes


Welcome to Normal, Kentucky, where nothing is . . . NORMAL!

Mae West, owner of Happy Trails Campground, never thought she would become an actress like her namesake. Calling herself an actress might be far stretch as she plays a minor role in the local Civil War reenactment BATTLE AT CAMP WILDCAT.

When the reenactment doesn't go as planned, not one but two of the town's folks aren't playing dead. . .they were MURDERED!
Come to find out there was a prison break and the serial killer is believed to be in Normal and someone has stolen a motorhome from Happy Trails Campground.

Are these connected?

Mae lets boyfriend and hunky detective, Hank Sharp, follow all the leads about the murders and on the trail of the serial killer because she's got bigger s'mores in the fire.

The motorhome owners have filed a lawsuit and suing her for the deed to Happy Trails Campground. Mae has embraced Normal and there's nothing or no one going to take her campground. She's determined to find the motorhome and return it to the owners before she hands over any deed to anyone.

Mae just might find out that tapping into her namesake just might come in handy when coming face to face with a serial killer.


Mae West is doing her best to keep the campground in Normal thriving. Only the escape of a serial killer amidst a civil war reenactment and residents not too thrilled with Greaser having stayed there...  Then a motorhome is stolen - a first to be sure. The map and wig add to the story.

The characters are what make this series and this story come alive. Mae is not always the most logical and there are some comic moments as well as good vibes with Hank. Mae does what she has to do and has to think quickly as only Mae West might. The story moves along at a steady pace with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. This can be read as a stand alone mystery. If you like cozy mysteries or others in this series, you won't be disappointed.

Added bonus: Motorhomes, Maps & Murder is available in audio!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Book Review New Release: EASTER HAIR HUNT : A Bad Hair Day Mystery by Nancy J. Cohen

Hare today, dead tomorrow… Can a stylish sleuth pull a rabbit out of her hat to solve an Easter murder in this to-dye-for cozy mystery?

When hairstylist Marla Vail attends an Easter egg hunt at historic Tremayne Manor, she’s only there to fix hair for a client, Bonnie “Blinky” Morris. But when she’s asked to comb the grounds for leftover goodies, Marla discovers more than just a few dyed eggs. The dead body in the bunny costume is definitely not having a good hare day. And Blinky seems to have disappeared down a rabbit hole.

When trying to solve a murder, everyone needs a friend who’s all ears. For Marla, that’s her husband, homicide detective Dalton Vail. They make an eggcellent team. Dalton isn’t the kind to leap to conclusions, but with his wife seven months pregnant, and knowing Marla finds crime-solving to be irresistible, he worries about her running off on another hare-raising adventure.

Marla’s peeps are hoping for a happy ending, but she may have found a basketful of trouble this time. Can she crack the case before Blinky becomes the next victim?

Recipes Included!


Marla's task of collecting any missed Easter eggs or goodies goes south quickly when she finds a man in part of a bunny costume, dead. The costume he's wearing is the one her friend Blinky was wearing only a few minutes before. And the egg she finds nearby is none other than a Fabergé. She discovers that Tremayne Manor and Lacey Tremayne have a rare collection and security. Only no one knows where Blinky went or how the Fabergé egg ended up in the grass or what happened to the security tape.

Worried about her friend, not to mention her own curiosity, Marla gets very busy following clues and jumping to conclusions. Dalton and Tally and other friends keep her grounded and mindful of her pregnancy. Marla continuously points out that she won't be crime-stopping once the baby arrives. There are expected and unexpected twists and turns as the story unfolds. 

This is the 16th in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries and Cohen has done it again with steady pace and characters who have depth and personality. She does not disappoint. I'm wondering if Marla will really bow out of sleuthing after the baby is born.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Blog Tour SPOTLIGHT: BLUEBERRY COBBLER BLACKMAIL (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath


Welcome to Leaven—oh wait—Santo Domingo, where DEATH takes a DELICIOUS turn!

Family bombshells, sibling rivalries, blackmail, and a trip that could be deadly...and the new year has only just begun! After a disastrous Thanksgiving, Jolie Tucker is beside herself and feeling the walls closing in around her. She feels like she needs to escape Leavensport before she loses her mind. She unexpectedly gets her wish when her best friend and co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, Ava Martinez, gets a terrifying email revealing that her papa, Thiago, is in danger in Santo Domingo. The girls are off on a dangerous adventure in new territory. Will they be able to save the day before danger finds them?

About Jodi Rath

Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.

Author Links 
FB Author Page: Author Jodi Rath 
Twitter @jodirath

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