Genre: Cozy

Gone With the Witch by Heather Blake

Posted June 15, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Paranormal Romance, Review, Romance, Rural, Series, Witches, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

Gone With the Witch by Heather BlakeGone With the Witch by Heather Blake
Series: A Wishcraft Mystery #6
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by NAL on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 336
Format: Kindle
five-stars

The national bestselling author of Some Like It Witchy returns as wish-granting witch Darcy Merriweather is put to the test after murder takes first prize at a pet show. . . .  Darcy and her dog Missy are determined to put their best foot forward at the Enchanted Village’s annual Pawsitively Enchanted pet contest. She’s happy to lend a hand when the show’s organizer hires Darcy to keep an eye on things among growing suspicions that someone is sabotaging the event. But Darcy’s quest for justice is thrown off the scent when her lead suspect is found dead at the competition.   As if a murder weren’t bad enough, someone begins snatching up prize-winning pets right from under their owners’ noses. Darcy is determined to protect the pampered participants at whatever cost. But she’ll have to work fast to sniff out the thief before she becomes the next victim of a killer determined to stop her dead in her tracks...

My take on this book:              Gone With the Witch by Heather Blake was such an awesome book. It had me thinking of who the Elder could be, who murdered Natasha, who was stealing the animals from the contest, and a bunch of other questions.

This book starts off with Darcy taking the job for “As You Wish,” her business now and right off the bat Darcy has a bad feeling about this assignment. From the beginning of this book Darcy has been on a whirlwind of emotions about the case and about everything else around her.

I don’t really want to reveal too much about what happens in this book but it’s really good. I am happy to say that in this book we finally find out who the Elder is. I’m not going to say as the author doesn’t want anything like that to be spoiled for anyone that has yet to read the book. Happy guessing, unless you find the clues like a member of the Mystery, Inc. team.

I love the enchanted village that this series is set in. The town square where most things happen is so picturesque, the small town heart if you know what I mean. The shops and the characters that live there are so great.

I am happy to say that my rating for this book is five stars as it was that glamorous. Ms. Blake also has set up what might happen in the next book, The Witch and the Dead, which will be released in October of this year.  If you can’t wait for the next Wishcraft Mystery, check out Ms. Blake’s other series the Magic Potions Mysteries.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

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five-stars

About Heather Blake

Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than twenty novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She’s a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality TV (especially cooking competition shows), drink too much coffee, crochet, bake (mostly cookies), and occasionally leave the house to travel to the beautiful mountains in the northeast. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family and is hard at work on her next book.


Spies and Spells by Tonya Kappes

Posted June 12, 2016 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Supernatural, Witches, Womens Fiction / 0 Comments

Spies and Spells by Tonya KappesSpies and Spells by Tonya Kappes
Series: Spies and Spells #1
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on March 21st 2016
Genres: Cozy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 248
Format: Kindle
five-stars

SPIES AND SPELLS, the first in this highly anticipated new series from USA TODAY Bestseller Tonya Kappes because we know she's a queen at writing paranormal mystery witch series, is here! Spies and Spells Spies and Spells Book 1 While Maggie waits for her Witchy Hour, she works at the family diner with her mom, aunt Meme and Lilith, her sister - all witches. Soon Maggie gets entangled with a mysterious handsome stranger, Mick Jasper, and his secret U.S. organization, SKUL. Has she found her calling?

My take on this book:              Spies and Spells by Tonya Kappes is another great book and series. All the characters are funny, great, and at times very nutty. The characters are all of those things plus more.

Maggie is the main character of the book and trying to figure out what she is supposed to do in this world, until her Witchy Hour, which she is wondering if it will ever happen to her. Her older sister, Lilith, hasn’t had her Witchy Hour yet and she doesn’t really mind waiting for it. While her mom and Aunt Meme have there’s. We follow Maggie as her Witchy Hour starts to happen and all the way through the mystery that she gets herself wrapped up in just from meeting Mick Jasper. My question is the life’s ambition SKUL or Mick Jasper? I am looking forward to finding out in the next book.

The spells that Tonya made up for the book were cute and silly but entertaining to read the mess or not so mess that it will cause. I loved the whole family of witches and their friends having a makeup party. Also Vinnie, her familiar, is super, funny and protective. He was entertaining as well.

Spies and Spells by Tonya Kappes is a great book and one that I recommend for everyone to read. I am also giving this book a five star rating. If you like quirky fun cozy mysteries check out some of her other series, like the Magical Cures Mysteries or the Ghostly Southern Mysteries.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

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About Tonya Kappes

For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been self-publishing her numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plotlines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

She has a B.A. in Education from the University of Kentucky and a proud Kentucky Wildcat fan.

Married to an amazing man, Eddy, she has four son ranging in ages from twenty-two to sixteen years old, Charlie and Scooter (Schnauzers), and Kitty Kappes.

Now a full time writer, she spends her days creating the fun-loving, quirky southern characters that is full of charm that readers have come to love.


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.

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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.

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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!