Saturday, January 29, 2022

Book Review: MURDER IN WHITE LACE (Bridal Shop Mysteries) by Karen Sue Walker


What’s worse than a bridezilla for a client? A dead one! 

Max Walters is a talented bridal consultant with big dreams. Her plan is to move to New York to become a fashion designer, even if it means leaving her serene California seaside home. When a shocking murder rips the tranquil veneer of Crystal Shores to shreds, and Max’s childhood friend is accused of murder, she sets out to clear his name. Despite the concern of the handsome Detective Cruz, Max weaves together a list of suspects that puts her on the path to the real killer. 

Will she be able to tie up the loose threads and catch the murderer? Or will she be the next victim? 


Max is in charge for the bridal shop, while her boss is on vacation. Not a problem as she's the one who helped design and create the dresses that need to be picked up or fitted. Only one bride has made multiple changes and not been receptive to Max's advice. The same bride has done the same thing with the florist, the baker, and anyone else involved in the wedding. When Bridezilla is due for a late appointment, Stacy from the bakery shows up with the cupcakes for the bride, who missed her appointment. Next thing Max knows, Bridezilla is dead in her wedding gown.

As Max tries to prove her childhood friend/crush, Andy, is innocent despite the detective's belief otherwise, Keiko shows up and asks for a job so she can learn the trade. Keiko is a little too perfect. as a walk-on, but a great help to Max as she takes time off to search out the real killer. As expected with a victim who made everyone angry and a friend trying to find other suspects, the suspect list is long.

This was an enjoyable read, with likable characters. Max's efforts to find someone, anyone who might have a motive besides Andy complicates things a bit. Still, the pace is steady and while not surprising, the killer is not obvious - not until about to kill Max anyway. This is the first in the series and I look forward to reading more of the Bridal Shop Mysteries and the possible romance between Max and Detective Cruz. This one was FREE when I purchased it; also available on Audible

The Bridal Shop Mysteries 

Murder in White Lace (Amazon link)
Murder in Crimson  
Murder in Blue Gingham 
Murder in Lavender Silk 

About the Author 

Karen Sue Walker is the author of the Bridal Shop Cozy Mystery Series and the Haunted Tearoom Cozy Mystery Series. For 2022, she's planning to share many more stories. Sign up for her mailing list or follow her here on Amazon. When not writing or thinking about writing, she enjoys baking, reading, and hanging out with friends and family.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Blog Tour and Book Review: FROZEN IN MOTION (Callie Cassidy Mysteries Book 3) by Lori Roberts Herbst


A murder at the local hockey rink leaves photographer Callie Cassidy nursing a few injuries of her own, but that won’t stop her from trying to catch the killer—before someone else gets iced… 

When hockey coach Renata Sanchez asks for Callie’s help getting her annoying ex-husband to leave Rock Creek Village, Callie hesitates. After all, Renata’s brother, Detective Raul Sanchez, has been known to bristle at Callie’s interference. But with her own second-chance romance on rocky turf and her best friend’s engagement to a man Callie doesn’t entirely trust, she could use the distraction of an investigation. 

Before she can even begin her research, a confrontation between Renata and her ex erupts right outside Sundance Studio. Later in the day, the man literally drops dead, falling from the hockey arena catwalk and landing with a thud on top of Callie. Renata immediately takes top spot on the suspect list, with her boyfriend Ethan MacGregor not far behind. With time running out to save her friends, Callie must enlist the help of her inquisitive cat and her loyal golden retriever to develop a picture of the true culprit. 


The suspects abound for Callie and much to her dismay, Renata is at the top of the list. Her brother, Raul, is sufficiently concerned - and shut out of the investigation - that he joins forces with her. Then there's Ethan, and Theo, not to mention Raul himself. Add in two dogs, a cat, the man who maintains the hockey rink, and a few others who've had altercations with Renata's ex. While trying to prove Renata is innocent, Callie also has to deal with her own romance with Sam and a rough patch, her photography studio and gallery, and her missing camera. To top it off, she sticks her nose into her best friend's business causing more problems. 

The pace is steady and there are some more humorous moments along with tension on multiple levels. Small town setting, with the coffee shop and interesting owner with surveillance to capture all that's going on. The main characters are interesting and likable. This is my first in this series. It was easily read as a stand alone mystery, though I always recommend starting a series at the beginning. If you like cozy mysteries, you'll enjoy this one.

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. 

Books in the Callie Cassidy Mysteries

Leave a comment and a random commenter will receive a free book of their choice!

About Lori Roberts Herbst 

Lori Roberts Herbst lives in Dallas, Texas, but spends a lot of time when she should be writing staring out the window and wishing she owned a home in Colorado mountains, too. She is a wife, mother, grandmother (gasp!), former journalism teacher, former counselor, and cozy mystery author. Lori serves as secretary of the Sisters in Crime North Dallas chapter and is a proud member of the SinC Guppies and the Mystery Writers of America. 

You can follow Lori on: 
FacebookGoodreads, and BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter at for updates and freebies.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

BOOK AND SERIES LAUNCH: REAWAKENING THE ITCH (Prequel to the Izzie Di Sante Mysteries) & AN ITCH FOR JUSTICE (An Izzie Di Sante Mystery Book #1)


A suspicious death in a small town reawakens Izzie’s long-dormant itch for digging up the truth. 

When Izzie Di Sante’s dream career as an investigative reporter hit a roadblock, she traded her press pass for an apron and returned home to manage the family restaurant. However, some things are impossible for Izzie to ignore. Like when the details surrounding the death of a long-time acquaintance don’t add up. She tells herself it’s her overactive imagination. Except the police report and circumstances reawaken the itch to uncover the truth – or in this case, the killer. Can she solve the case and follow her dream while managing her family restaurant? 

This is a prequel to the Izzie Di Sante Mysteries.

Releases 1/23/2022 - AMAZON     


Can a stalled murder investigation in Halcyon Springs pull Izzie Di Sante back into investigative reporting? 

The mere thought of getting involved in the investigation shifts Izzie's mind into overdrive. A former reporter turned restaurant owner, she's determined to find out everything she can. Only the more she discovers about Drew Scanlon’s murder and his new wife’s placement in a psychiatric facility, the more questions she has. 

With the detective instructed to tread carefully given the social status of the family, the investigation of Drew’s murder stalls. His parents spin a story that casts his wife, Bethany, as the prime suspect. Sedated and at the mercy of her caregivers at a private facility, Bethany is helpless to defend herself against their accusations. Nothing adds up in Izzie’s mind, spurring her to delve deeper while doing her best to balance her search for justice with her responsibilities at the family restaurant.

Available for Pre-Order - Releases 1/26/2022

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Blog Tour and Spotlight: DAUNTING DARKNESS & FREAKY FAMILIARS (Paige Papillon Mysteries) by Lily Luchesi

Synopsis - Daunting Darkness  

Following your dreams can become a nightmare. 

Paige Papillon has always loved mysteries. So much so, she enlists in the Police Academy to one day become a detective. 

But when she washes out of training, her Sergeant inspires her to go another route: become a private investigator. 

After a few boring cases, she receives an envelope full of cash and mysterious clues that lead to the discovery of a cover up of paranormal proportions. 

Worse, the Sergeant's wife is at the center of it. Can Paige solve the mystery and stay alive, or will she become a midnight snack for a monster? 

Synopsis - Freaky Familiars 

No time for a catnap for this paranormal detective! 

Now aware that things that go bump in the night exist, private investigator Paige Papillon has expanded her business to include clients of all species. 

Assisted by a former detective and his mystery writer wife with a checkered past, she begins to settle into her new job as Chicago’s premier paranormal PI. 

But when her best friend’s cat goes missing, Paige realizes how much she still doesn’t know about the supernatural world. It’s a race against the clock to save a shapeshifter and prevent a witch’s familiar from being sold to the highest bidder. 

About Lily Luchesi

Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series. Her young adult Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively. She is also the co-owner of Partners in Crime Book Services, where she offers a myriad of services alongside her business partner Annie Smith, including editing. 

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, where many of her stories are set. Ever since she was a toddler, her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading comics. And drinking copious amounts of coffee. She also writes contemporary books for adults as Samantha Calcott. 

You can keep up with Lily via her newsletter … and receive a free e-book as well! 

Purchase Links 
Daunting Darkness – Amazon 
Freaky Familiars – Amazon

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Saturday, January 15, 2022

Book Review: DEATH BY DAUBER (Thelma and June's Mystery Adventures Book 1) by Donna Walo Clancy


Bingo players are a feisty lot, and Thelma Frost is the queen of feisty. 

When Agatha Tram, a wealthy, local newspaper owner is found unconscious in a bathroom stall with dauber circles covering her face, everyone attending bingo that night is suspect. After her death, the staff at her newspaper start to vanish, one by one. 

Thelma Frost, the front desk receptionist at the local animal hospital must do her best to find the killer as her niece Kami works at the paper and she doesn’t want her to be the next one to disappear. 

A twenty-five-year-old kidnapping case is re-opened, local’s longtime secrets are revealed, and small-town lies are uncovered. Bingo is not just your grandmother's game anymore. 


The story flows as Thelma (dragging along June) tries to determine why someone killed Agatha to be sure her niece isn't next. After all, Kami and Betsy inherited the newspaper. Agatha's attorney takes interest in Kami and romance may be in the air. Then there's the other reporter looking for the story of the 25-year old unsolved kidnapping, also interested. Add in all the compulsive bingo players and the gossip column Agatha wrote, and there are more motives than suspects. 

This was my first book by Donna Walo Clancy, and I enjoyed it. Thelma and her cat, Kami, and June are all likable characters. There are hints left as to the killer and other criminal types. Bingo makes for an interesting setting for a murder. I'll be looking forward to more of Thelma and June's adventures. 

Purchase Link

About Donna Walo Clancy 

Donna Walo Clancy (Donna Clancy) lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts in the U.S.A. She is a single mom of three grown children and happily divorced. Her first passion is writing. She also loves to read and all kinds of crafting. Flea markets and yard sales can hold her attention for hours. In her down time, she loves to walk the beach with her dog, Zumiez, and her metal detector searching for lost treasures.

Not holding herself to a single genre, she writes whatever story she feels needs to be worked on at the time. Her favorite genre is cozy mysteries and she has several series on Amazon at the present time; The Jelly Shop Mysteries, The Shipwreck CafĂ© Mysteries, and now Thelma and June's Mystery Adventures. Several standalone books will also be released in the coming year. 

You can visit her social pages on Facebook or Amazon. She can be reached at

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

CHRISTMAS CARAMEL MURDER : A Hannah Swensen Holiday Mystery by Joanne Fluke


Christmas normally descends on Lake Eden, Minnesota, as gently as reindeer alighting on a rooftop—but this yuletide season, the only thing coming down Hannah Swensen’s chimney is a case of murder. 

Hannah and her pal Lisa have agreed to provide the goodies for the town’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say “Bah, humbug!” a Santa-sized sackful of trouble ensues. Like the fact that Lisa’s husband will be playing Mr. Claus to his ex-girlfriend Phyllis Bates’ Mrs. Claus. Or that before the curtains even go up Phyllis is found dead in the snow—wearing a costume that the real Mrs. Claus would put on the naughty list.

Soon, the suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts while a merry murderer remains on the loose. With clues hard to find, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays… 

Includes a dozen holiday recipes from The Cookie Jar! 


As usual, Joanne Fluke doesn't disappoint. Many people Hannah knows have motive and it's not clear if her partner and friend, Lisa, has an alibi. Or her husband - what is he doing those late nights? I liked the characters (except Phyllis) and their interactions rang true.  I'm waiting for the relationship between Hannah and Mike to move forward (possibly in later books). There's a light paranormal component and many recipes. I think I gained weight just reading about the goodies Hannah, Lisa, and Michelle came up with. Overall an enjoyable Christmas read. 

Christmas Caramel Murder is the 20th in the series. I have not read the rest (so now on my TBR list or next year). It was easily read as a stand-alone mystery. Still, starting at the beginning is always best.