Category: Cozy

Buried in a Bog GP

Posted January 1, 2016 by karenbaron in Cozy, Mystery, Review, Rural, Series / 0 Comments

Buried in a Bog GPBuried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly
Series: County Cork #1
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Penguin Group (USA) on February 5th 2013
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle
five-stars

National bestselling and Agatha Award-nominated author Sheila Connolly introduces a brand-new series set in a small village in County Cork, Ireland, where buried secrets are about to rise to the surface...
Honoring the wish of her late grandmother, Maura Donovan visits the small Irish village where her Gran was born—though she never expected to get bogged down in a murder mystery. Nor had she planned to take a job in one of the local pubs, but she finds herself excited to get to know the people who knew her Gran.  
In the pub, she’s swamped with drink orders as everyone in town gathers to talk about the recent discovery of a nearly one-hundred-year-old body in a nearby bog. When Maura realizes she may know something about the dead man—and that the body’s connected to another, more recent, death—she fears she’s about to become mired in a homicide investigation. After she discovers the death is connected to another from almost a century earlier, Maura has a sinking feeling she may really be getting in over her head...
A New York Times bestseller!

My Thoughts:   I really enjoyed this book. Sheila Connolly can truly spin a tale. 5 Stars for this one.

Maura Donovan lives in Boston where her whole world has been turned upside down by the passing of her much loved Gran. Gran’s last wish was for Maura to go to County Cork, Ireland where her Gran was married and lived before moving to Boston. Gran has even left her the address of a friend to contact, Bridget Nolan. Mrs. Nolan makes accommodations for Maura’s stay, and other such things.

Maura finds in Ireland a job, friends, family, belonging and mystery. Maura really grows emotionally, grieves for her Gran and finds a whole world her Gran didn’t tell her about. Some opinions that she formed about the Irish in Boston change as she meets the people of Ireland and learns their stories. Maura is strong, stubborn, and quirky. She says what she is thinking. The supporting characters are amusing and witty.

I found myself transported to the Townlands of County Cork. What a wonderful start to a new series. I am looking forward to the next book.

This is Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review a book for your site. ~Jen

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five-stars

About Sheila Connolly

Connolly was born in Rochester, New York, and since then has lived in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, and Massachusetts. In 1972 she graduated with honors from Wellesley College, then earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University. When art history jobs proved elusive, she obtained an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked as an art historian, a municipal financial advisor for U.S. cities and states, a non-profit fundraiser for institutions and two statewide political campaigns, and a professional genealogist. She has included elements of all of these in her mysteries.

Connolly is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime, and is also a member of the steering committee for the New England Crime Bake, an annual mystery conference.

Currently she lives in southeastern Massachusetts, with her husband, daughter, and three cats.

(Info above from Wikipedia)


An Open Book GP

Posted December 31, 2015 by karenbaron in Cozy, Death, Murder, Mystery, Review, Short Stories / 0 Comments

An Open Book GPAn Open Book by Sheila Connolly
Published by Berkley Books on December 1st 2012
Genres: Cozy, Mystery
Format: Kindle
four-stars

National bestselling author Sheila Connolly presents a stand-alone story, only available digitally... After part-time librarian Sarabeth Dodson discovers elderly Edith Hathaway dead in a snowdrift in small-town Strathmere, Pennsylvania, she enlists the help of Police Chief Vanessa Hutchins to get to the bottom of the mystery. With no footprints around the body and no purse, what was the retired school teacher doing out in the middle of nowhere in the snow? The answer may have something to do with the library book Edith failed to return... Includes a preview of the first book in Sheila Connolly's brand-new County Cork Mystery series--"Buried in a Bog." Also includes excerpts from the first book in the Orchard Mystery series--"One Bad Apple"--and the first book in the Museum Mystery series--"Fundraising the Dead."

My Thoughts:        A startling short story. 4 Stars

This short story kept me entertained from the beginning paragraph. What a way to suck you in, especially since my favorite color is blue. The characters are believable and a little eccentric. The death is tragic but the conclusion is not what you would expect.

I liked the main character, Sarabeth and her friend the Chief of Police, Vanessa they make a good team. Vanessa is a little more laid back and keeps things to herself, whereas Sarabeth is nosy. Only in a small town could the suspect sip tea and explain the story in their own way while sitting in a comfortable sitting room, instead of a dirty police interrogation room.

I like the small town setting. Ms. Connolly writes about life in small towns exactly the way I remember it, everyone knows everyone and their business. When someone dies in an unexpected way, the whole town is abuzz.

All in all, a great short story, worth the time. I definitely recommend this to my friends who like cozy mysteries.

This is Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review a book for your site. ~Jen

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four-stars

About Sheila Connolly

Connolly was born in Rochester, New York, and since then has lived in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, and Massachusetts. In 1972 she graduated with honors from Wellesley College, then earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University. When art history jobs proved elusive, she obtained an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked as an art historian, a municipal financial advisor for U.S. cities and states, a non-profit fundraiser for institutions and two statewide political campaigns, and a professional genealogist. She has included elements of all of these in her mysteries.

Connolly is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime, and is also a member of the steering committee for the New England Crime Bake, an annual mystery conference.

Currently she lives in southeastern Massachusetts, with her husband, daughter, and three cats.

(Info above from Wikipedia)


A Gala Event GP

Posted December 30, 2015 by karenbaron in Cozy, Mystery, Review, Rural, Series / 0 Comments

A Gala Event GPA Gala Event by Sheila Connolly
Series: Orchard #9
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Berkley on October 6th 2015
Genres: Cozy, Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Wedding bells are ringing for Meg and Seth in the latest Orchard Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Picked to Die
The fall harvest may be just about over, but orchard owner Meg Corey is busier than ever planning her wedding to Seth Chapin. Who knew picking apples would be less work than picking out rings and a dress? And even though the happy couple has invited most of Granford, Massachusetts, to the ceremony, they might have to make room for one more guest…
Ex-con Aaron Eastman has unexpectedly reappeared in his hometown, searching for answers to the tragic fire in his family’s past that put him behind bars twenty-five years ago. Moved by his sincerity, Meg vows to do everything she can to help him solve the cold case. As she cobbles together the clues, it becomes increasingly clear that Aaron may have been considered the bad seed of the family, but someone else was one bad apple…
Includes Delicious Recipes!

My Thoughts:                     So happy for this couple! This one gets 5 stars.

I truly like Meg’s character. She stands up for what she believes even if that means she has to take the hard road. She is completely a down to earth woman. She reminds me of my old friend Nopal. Nopal would call herself an old farm woman. She didn’t put on airs and she preferred to keep her mind and body busy, much like Meg. Meg and Seth make a great pair, they are both hardworking, honest and don’t shy giving helping a hand.

In this episode Meg’s friend Gail uncharacteristically freaks out and hurts a stranger. In comes Meg to help figure out what happened recently and then she attempts to solve a very old cold case with hardly any evidence. Meg enlists the assistance of Seth’s sister, mother, Gail, Art and of course Seth. This task seems daunting until most of the paperwork is back and they have done some leg work. Each person had a different part of the puzzle which allowed Meg to come up with the best conclusion possible and present it to Aaron and his siblings.

I think what I like most in this story was the melting of the different personalities through the actual story. There are quite a few characters (and I do mean characters) in this series. They seemed to all come together for the wedding and do it in a way that was sincere. Although Meg and Seth get married in this book, there are so many other things going on, such as planning the nuptials, the ex-con showing up, his relationship with his siblings, remodeling, finishing the harvest, entertaining, Thanksgiving, the birth of a new character, and the solving of an old fire. Talk about multi-tasking.

This is an outstanding series, I would highly recommend it and do. You may want to start from the first book in the series (One Bad Apple) even though that isn’t necessary as each book stands alone also. There are some nice apple recipes included if you like to bake/cook. So check it out!

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

If you would like to see other reviews like this one, check out BaronessBookTrove.com.

**Where to find this book**

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five-stars

About Sheila Connolly

Connolly was born in Rochester, New York, and since then has lived in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, and Massachusetts. In 1972 she graduated with honors from Wellesley College, then earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University. When art history jobs proved elusive, she obtained an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked as an art historian, a municipal financial advisor for U.S. cities and states, a non-profit fundraiser for institutions and two statewide political campaigns, and a professional genealogist. She has included elements of all of these in her mysteries.

Connolly is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime, and is also a member of the steering committee for the New England Crime Bake, an annual mystery conference.

Currently she lives in southeastern Massachusetts, with her husband, daughter, and three cats.

(Info above from Wikipedia)


Chocolate Falcon Fraud GP

Posted December 27, 2015 by karenbaron in Cozy, Mystery, Review, Series / 0 Comments

Chocolate Falcon Fraud GPThe Chocolate Falcon Fraud by JoAnna Carl
Series: A Chocoholic Mystery #15
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by NAL on November 3rd 2015
Genres: Cozy, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 229
Format: Kindle
five-stars

From the bestselling author of The Chocolate Clown Corpse, it’s murder, my sweet, for a chocolatier whose love of old crime films plunges her into a real-life murder where the motives aren’t so black and white…   The Warner Pier tourism board is kicking off its Tough Guys and Private Eyes film festival with The Maltese Falcon, and Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie are preparing a delicious chocolate noir tie-in at TenHuis Chocolade. What Lee isn’t prepared for is a face from the past: Jeff Godfrey, her former stepson. The last time Jeff showed up in town, he wound up being accused of murder. Now he says he’s only in Warner Pier to see Bogart on the big screen. Honest.   Jeff may now be a college grad, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less naïve than the kid Lee had to bail out of trouble earlier. There are all those strange phone calls, a girlfriend who’s secretly on Jeff’s tail, and a pack of suspicious-sounding acquaintances right out of Dashiell Hammett. Then Jeff goes missing, the Falcon theme is haunting everyone, and a body falls at Lee’s feet when she opens the front door – just like in the movie.   Now Lee is under deadline to rewrite the ending of a cunning killer’s increasingly convincing murder plot…  Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!

My Thoughts:         Wonderfully written! 5 chocolate stars for this one…

I love the whole noir film convention. I have never even heard of anything like that but how fun would that be? Completely, dressing in costumes from the 40s, the fedoras, the hair styles, the drinks, the accents, very cool. Warner Pier has some fabulous ideas for tourism.

Lee is pretty funny, she always seems to find trouble or it seeks her out. She and her Aunt Nettie are both so curious. They just can’t sit back and let the police figure it out.

When Lee’s ex-stepson, Jeff shows up and disappears in the same day Lee is extremely worried. Then his friend, Tess shows up and she doesn’t know where Jeff is either. Lee knows there is foul pay involved. So, Lee and Aunt Nettie take off from the chocolate company and follow a few clues. Aunt Nettie has a keen eye for details that even Lee doesn’t see. The two of them are hilarious as they meet character after character from the Maltese Falcon movie. It is a good thing that Nettie is married to the police chief and Lee’s husband has such patience otherwise these ladies wouldn’t only have lots of explaining to do.

I find the characters so believable. The mixture of the Michigan and Texas characteristics are so true to life. Lee has some pretty neat quirks, using a close but different word when she is stressed, being tall, scared of trees and clumsy at time.

I found the way this story follows the Maltese Falcon movie and book to be extremely fitting with just enough change and chocolate to keep it going. You can always count on Ms. Carl to have a nice plot with lots of twists. I always like the research Ms. Carl does and little facts included in the book, be it the facts within the plot or the chocolate facts & recipes Ms. Carl adds in (well, fudge in this book). She makes it fun and exciting with quick wit.

I honestly can’t believe that this is the 15th book. It is such a delightful series, the perfect cozy mysteries. If you haven’t read these books yet start with the first one The Chocolate Cat Caper, and you will be hooked and craving chocolates (both are good things).

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

If you would like to see other reviews like this one, check out BaronessBookTrove.com.

**Where to find this book**

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five-stars

About JoAnna Carl

JoAnna Carl and Eve K. Sandstrom both write mystery novels relying on regional settings for atmosphere, background and clues.

JoAnna writes about the shores of Lake Michigan and has been reviewed in Michigan newspapers as a “regional writer.”

Eve writes about Southwest Oklahoma and once won an award for the best book of the year with an Oklahoma setting.

It’s no particular secret that Eve and JoAnna occupy the same body.

Talk about your split personalities!


GP The Ghoul Next Door

Posted November 7, 2015 by karenbaron in Chick Lit, Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghosts, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Paranormal Romance, Review, Romance, Series, Urban, Witches, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

GP The Ghoul Next DoorThe Ghoul Next Door by Rose Pressey
Series: Larue Donavan #3
Series Rating: four-stars
on July 7, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 280
Format: Kindle
four-stars

Just when Larue Donavan, top-notch psychic medium and bookstore owner, thought she'd gotten a vacation from ghostly visitors, her ghoul friends are back. All she wants is to run her bookstore and help a few lost souls cross over into the light, but what she gets is black witchcraft, demons, and Elvis Presley. Oh wait, she likes the Elvis part.

A reality show is in town and wants Larue to join their team. She accepts the job, but gets more than she bargained for when, on the first day, she's thrown into a battle with dark forces. Larue has to deal with the demons lurking between this world and the next and even Elvis can't help her with this fight. This specter may not be out for the client after all. Instead, this demon is all over Larue like a bad rash.

The demon isn't the only one longing for someone, though. Larue's relationship with Callahan Weiss is in jeopardy when his ex-girlfriend arrives in town and decides to introduce herself to Larue via snail mail... not just once, but many times. This girl is definitely stalker material. She'll do anything to get to Callahan's heart.

When it seems as if things couldn't possibly get any worse, Larue, and everyone around her, realizes she isn't acting normal--even her eye color has changed. This demon may be playing tricks. Larue must use every bit of spiritual energy she can muster to save herself. If she doesn't outsmart the forces of evil, she may lose her sanity and possibly her soul.

Larue must banish this evil spirit back to hell with a little help from her ghoul friends... and Elvis.

My Thoughts: Wonderful story.

Larue and Callahan have a fabulous chemistry, but some people just don’t want them to be together. Then there is the coven, ghost busting, her book store and of course a demon. Can Larue be torn in any more directions? Perhaps, only the story teller knows and there are tons of red herrings, but at the actual climax is really very enlightening.

I truly enjoy the ghouls that are following her around. In this book she has celebrity ghost of Elvis, whom is related to her boyfriend Callahan. The other two ghosts are so annoying, but Larue has such strong patience that she can handle them. Larue is learning whom to ask for help and whom not to ask. That is such a hard lesson for all of us to learn. The greatest thing about Larue is her positive attitude. I find her resilience amazing. The only thing that puzzles me is her family’s lack of attendance in her life.

The sleepy little town of Magnolia is quite the supernatural mega center. Larue has yet to realize everything that is going on and around Magnolia. I think that she is known by all supernatural beings and they are introducing themselves to her, whether she wants to meet them or not.

Definitely a good read, I will be recommending it to my friends.

This is Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review a book for your site. ~Jen

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four-stars

About Rose Pressey

Rose Pressey is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. The paranormal has always captured her interest. The thought of finding answers to the unexplained fascinates her.

When she’s not writing about werewolves, vampires and every other supernatural creature, she loves eating cupcakes with sprinkles, reading, spending time with family, and listening to oldies from the fifties.

Rose lives in the beautiful commonwealth of Kentucky with her husband, son and three sassy Chihuahuas.

Rose suffers from Psoriatic Arthritis and has knee replacements. She might just set the world record for joint replacements. She’s soon having her hips replaced, elbows, and at least one shoulder.