Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Book Review: Karma's A Killer By Tracy Weber

 Title:Karma's A Killer
 Author: Tracy Weber
 Series: Book 3 A Downward Dog Mystery
 Publisher: Midnight Ink
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for Review from Author
 Rating: 5 Stars
 Reviewed by: Tina

 Animals and yoga come together in Karma's a Killer by Tracy Weber. I haven't read this series since the first book and I can say that I love Kate and especially her dog,Bella even more than I did in the first book. Kate has a lot to deal with but I wonder if she will get through it and try to solve yet another murder. From the first page I was riveted by Kate and Bella and also all the shady characters that Kate suspects of murder. I have to say my favourite parts of the book were reading about all the rescue animals and especially Blackie the crow that was a pet to Judith the wildlife rehabilitator .

 The heat is on literally for yoga teacher and hot tempered,Kate in the third book in the A Downward dog Mysteries, Karma's a Killer. Between the HEAT demonstrators aka Human's for Ethical Animal Treatment, Dogma, a no-kill animal shelter, run by Maggie and her assistant, Sally. Also, Judith a wildlife rehabilitator. Kate will soon find herself in the middle murder investigation all the while trying to find her inner peace and trying hard to practice the yoga sutra's in her life but not always succeeding.

 It all started when Kate's Boyfriend, Michael organizes an event called “Paws around Green Lake 5k dog run” in Seattle, Washington a fundraiser for Dogma. Kate is going to teach a “Doga class” yoga for dogs to a not so great reception and Kate wonders if she will become a laughing stock at the event. Soon the HEAT demonstrators invades the event and a fire breaks and then everything turns to chaos when Raven, A HEAT Demonstrator, Raven is found drowned in Green Lake while she and her German Shepard with special needs, Bella while taking a walk. Raven also has a red gash on her head.

 When another HEAT demonstrator, Dharma someone one from Kate's past is arrested for Raven's murder. Kate struggles within herself to apply the yoga sutra's teachings and help her through her ordeal but Kate realizes that she needs to help her and asks her friend and lawyer, Dale to help out Dharma. Dharma has many reasons for wanting Raven dead having argued and sleeping with Dharma's boyfriend. But more HEAT demonstrators soon become suspects but soon a connection emerges between the founder of Dogma and Raven and suspect pool just got a little bigger.

 FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book are honest and  our own.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: And then there were Nuns by Kylie Logan

 Title: And Then There Were Nuns
 Author: Kylie Logan
 Series: Book 4 A League of Literary Ladies Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from publisher
 Star Rating: 4 out of 5
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 When ten noble nuns are offered a one week retreat at Water's Edge on South Bass Island on Lake Erie, for their work of good deeds how could they say no. Soon after their arrival they find the host has been called away, the world famous speaker that is supposed to lead them through this week of refuge and relaxation has left them a message to co-ordinate it themselves and the only person who will come to their aide for meals and such is a neighboring B and B owner. Bea Cartwright owner of the B and B, along with her employee Meg and her friends Luella, Kate and Chandra will be assisting the ladies with their meals for the week.

 Unbeknownst to them they will be drawn into another murder investigation when one of the nuns is found murdered by the water. Soon all the evidence is focusing on a fellow nun but when she turns up missing Bea, her friends and the police chief will have to rethink their whole premise for the crime. One of the lines of inquiry leads one of Bea's guests to believe their might be a parody with Agatha Christie's And Then They Were None. Although no one will take it seriously, Bea can't help but see some similarities.

 Although she has a knack for solving mysteries this one is even baffling her. Along with the investigation she also has to battle her own demons starting with Levi, a man she said she wouldn't get involved with but did. Soon not only does she have to face Levi about the lies she told she will also have to face her friends. It becomes an emotional roller coaster to keep the investigation on track and to juggle the fall out she suffers with Levi, especially when he becomes involved with the case. With the case revolving around the remaining nuns, Bea sets up a deadly game of cat and mouse that may put her and her friends at risk even with help only moments away.

 I enjoyed this story thoroughly, I had never read one in the series before and only chose it based on the fact that it was about nuns being killed. I had to know the reason behind it. The author does a great job of keeping you in the dark and due to that made it a quick read. Her characters are likable and believable. Also, there is references to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, I was so curious I ended up watching the 2015 mini-series with Sam Neill. I could see where the similarities were after watching it and added to the atmosphere of the book.


FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and honest  and our own.


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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: Ripe for Murder by Carlene O'Neil

Title: Ripe for Murder
Author: Carlene O'Neil
Series: Book 2 Cypress Grove Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for review from Publisher
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by: Tina




Joyeux Winery is a family run winery that is run  by Penny Lively. She needs to think of something fast if she wants to keep business booming so she decides to think about investing in a new train line that will run along her winery and her neighbor's and distant relative, Antonia's winery and many others.

Connor manages Joyeux Winery and there's a unrequited love between Penny and Connor. Penny is not to eager to share her love for him but he joins her on a trip to a posh resort and spa for a overnight tripe to find out more about the train line that will also be a shoe in to bring in more tourists to the wineries. 


Penny is not to pleased that Antonia's Daughter, Chantal who stole one of Penny's boyfriends in high school is making a mockery of herself and throwing herself all over married investors and she also has the hots for Connor but she does have a great eye for the business of her own mother's winery. 


Chantal becomes the number one suspect when a passenger of the train who just happens to be a investors wife is murdered. Chantal needs for Penny to read between the wine's when she agrees to investigate to find the real murderer and she discovered that one of the investors has a taste for more than the wine, they have a taste for blood. 


I'm all in favor of the unrequited romance between Penny and Connor, I have had a few of them in my lifetime which I related too. Ripe for murder had no shortage of tension and thrills and no shortage of a possible murderer. That being said, I found the story line lacking and not as action packed as I would have liked. There were one too many investors for me to keep track of and not very interesting besides the killer and not very engaging. Penny and Antonia's friendship and work ethic shined though out the whole story and it would make a perfect read for any wine connoisseur and mystery fan. 

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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: Out of the Dying Pan By Linda Reilly

Title: Out of the Dying Pan
 Author: Linda Reilly
 Series: Book 2 Deep Fried Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Star Rating: 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Tina


 Talia Marby's deep-fried delicious treats at her “Fry Me a Sliver” restaurant may be a no-no for your waistline but you will not be able to help but love reading every word of the second book in the A Deep-fried mysteries, Out of the Dying Pan by Linda Reilly. First known as a “fish and chips” place, reminiscent of the fish and chips they would serve you in England, Talia and her employees , grumpy, Martha and clumsy teen Lucas are busy concocting a number of many different treats like deep-fried meat balls with marinara sauce and deep fried marble and fruit cake with raspberry sauce for their customers.

 A new vintage clothing shop, Once or Twice is moving into the arcade and Talia goes there to introduce herself and welcome them. She meets Kelsey a employee of Ria, who happens to be the proprietor of the shop. Talia then realizes that she has seen Ria before, Ria then yells at her employee and Talia quickly makes her exit. Ria aka Oriana Butterworth “The Rabbit thief” who stole a rabbit from Talia's best friends brother when they were children and Ria is still holding a grudge over Talia taking the rabbit back to it's rightful owner after all these years.

   At a Christmas Santa fundraiser for unfortunate families Ria accuses Talia of stealing vintage Christmas oraments from her table and Then Talia finds her deceased Nana's scarf that Talia knitted for her on Ria's clothing rack. After the event, Talia finds Ria dead strangled with her Nana's scarf around her neck. Ria died carrying a secret that needs to be solved and her murderer needs to be found and Talia vows to find the killer to see to it that he deep-fries in prison.

 A very profound mystery with complex characters with many flaws that made them seem more human and seem more real making this a new favourite series for me. Their back back stories were so sad especially Talia's employee Martha and my heart was breaking for her. Even Ria a character that you love to hate has a sad back story, it's a testament to the great imagination and writing of author Linda Reilly.

 Being a foodie I knew I had to try Out of the Dying pan and Bojangles the cat was a treasure to the story and so cute with such big eyes on the books cover. But I never expected this very compelling mystery with many twists and turns. Talia is quite the smart, sassy and heartwarming sleuth and chef that you can't help but love.

 FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and honest and our own.

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 The giveaway closes at 12:00 am EST March 20th. Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST March 20th. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: Between a Book and a hard Place by Denise Swanson

 Title: Between a Book and a Hard Place
 Author: Denise Swanson
 Series: Book 5 A Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery
 Publisher: Obsidian Mystery
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from publisher
 Star Rating: 3 out 5
 Reviewed by: Marlene

 When Shadow Bend, Missouri hears news that the town's library will finally re-open there is mixed reviews on such the event. But that isn't the only big news supposedly aliens are choosing to make Shadow Bend the town to come and have first contact. And that isn't all, Dev's mother has finally come back to rekindle their relationship after leaving her at her grandmother's over a decade ago. There is a lot of changes in Dev's life, recently moving back to to Shadow Bend, opening a five and dime store to help with her grandmother's health, and juggling two men in her life.

 Nothing shocks her more then when she sees her mother for the first time since she left. Her mother Yvette, married Jett Benedict the man who is funding the re-open of the library. His only condition is he get to research the archives. Within a few days of arrival Jett is found dead in the library and everything point's to Dev's mother and father. Her father Kern who recently was released from prison after being found innocent of a crime he didn't commit. It soon becomes Dev's mission to protect her parents in a race to find the killer before the police do.

 With Dev's friends Boone and Poppy in tow they uncover a long hidden secret that could change the lives of some of the oldest families in town. Her's included. She also has the help of her two love interests, high school sweetheart, Noah with a meddling mother and Jake, ex-US Marshall with a meddling ex-wife. Not only does she need to keep ahead of the police but ahead of these two women if she wants to figure out which one she truly loves. When Dev finds out the truth she is then put in the middle of a dangerous game where she needs to save not only herself but her friends.

 The story was fast paced and there is quite a lot going on. The author was very good at propelling you through the story to see not only who the murderer was but what was going to happen in Dev's life next. Ms. Swanson writes good characters but unfortunately for me there wasn't one I really could identify with.

 They were likable but I personally had issues with the main character, even though she is a strange mix of a tough business woman and a vulnerable female (sort of paraphrasing a line from the book but it fits her to well) which is what I like she just missed the mark for me. I think if she had a little more of Poppy (her friend that has attitude and can take care of herself physically) maybe it would have been different.

 FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and honest and our own.


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PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: Comment with your email below to win a paperback of Between a book and a Hard Place by Denise Swanson in the comments.

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 The giveaway closes at 12:00 am EST March 14th. Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST March 14th. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: Devonshire Scream By Laura Childs

Title: Devonshire Scream
 Author: Laura Childs
 Series: Book 17 A Tea Shop Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
 Format: Hardcover
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Rating; 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Tina

 There's nothing better for me than books and a cup of tea and there's certainly nothing better than a cup of tea and the latest Tea Shop Mystery. Theodosia Browning owns Indigo Tea Shop, there's nothing she loves better along with Drayton who is the tea master, an expert on all things, tea and he is also a antique collector and Haley who is the chef of the tea shop in Charleston, South Carolina.

 Heart's Desire is a fine jewelry shop that Theodosia's friend, Brooke owns and she invites Theodosia to a trunk show that's shes putting on to display some of her most priceless jewelry. With private collectors, and others among them an SUV comes speeding through the wall and all hell breaks out when a masked group starts quickly pocketing all the precious jewels.

 As glass is flying and guests fearing for their lives with the robbers letting a smoke bomb off, Theodosia's first thought is to help the other guests that are hurt and injured. Brooke is crying out in heartbreak when Theodosia approaches her niece, Kaitlin who is a jewelry designer in the making with glass embedded in her throat and clearly dead from her injury. With the Hertiage Society's Rare Antiquites show approaching and one of the items being displayed there being a valuable Farerge Egg, Theodosia fears this group of thives may return again. Brooke then asks Theodosia to find who is responsible and avenge her niece's death and she of coarse could never say no.

 Keep some tissues beside you, Devonshire Scream will have you shedding tears with a not so typical murder but a all to typical bad guys. Fast-pased and thrilling and hard to put down. A perfect sip of tea for even the most picky of tea drinkers and cozy mystery fans. I'm dying to try the recipes that are included in the back that were some of the recipes chef ,Haley made for the Indigo tea Shop customers. The best of what I read from Tea Shop Mysteries so far. Even a coffee lover could love.

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 The giveaway closes at 12:00 am EST March 13th. Entries will not be counted after 12:00 am EST March 13th. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook Page and notified by email (don't forget to check your SPAM FOLDER)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander

 Title: A Batter of Life and Death
 Author: Ellie Alexander
 Series: Book 2 A Bakeshop Mystery
 Publisher:St. Martins Paperbacks
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Windsor Public Library
 Rating: 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Tina

 Imagine , delicious cakes, pies, cookies and tortes. Then imagine a cold blooded murder. A Batter of Life and death was a perfect mixture of delicious treats and baker extrodinaire, Jules searching for a killer. If I could give this culinary delight of a mystery more than five stars I would.



 Juliet Capshaw is grudgingly competing in Take the Cake, a televised pastry competition from the Pastry Channel.

 Winning the grand prize of $25,000 could do to upgrade some of the kitchen equipment in her bakery, Torte that she runs along with her mother, Helen. Jules finds fellow baker and competitor, Chef Marco dead and berried in his own buttercream. Jules is soon discouraged that another murder has fallen on her beloved town of Ashland and another murderer is lurking her sleepy little town but that doesn't stop her from wanting to become involved in the investigation along with detective, Thomas who happens to be her high school sweetheart whom she has conflicting feelings for.

 As Jules is sharing Torte's kitchen with her fellow competitors baking their delicious treats for the competition, she discovers that more than one of them is carrying secrets even some of the players on the set and Jules wonders if these secrets in fact have anything to do with the murder. It seems Take the Cake is not what it's cracked up to be and Jules must put all her eggs in one basket before she gets beat by a killer.

 I love when a cozy mystery series theme is the main center of the plot, like Jule's life inside the bakery is what this reader can't get enough of and A Batter of Life and death is perfect for any baker, anyone with a sweet tooth and mystery lover. This has become one of my favorite series. I have made it a point to read every single book in order. This series and the characters I hope with touch your heart like they have touched mine and have you thinking long about them after the book is over.

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. If you don't want to leave your email here or not able to enter on this blog, please send an email to acozygirlreads@gmail.com with " Giveaway" in the Subject line.

 Giveaway is open to US residents only.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Book Review/Giveaway: Kernel of Truth By Kristi Abbott

 Title: Kernel of Truth
 Author: Kristi Abbott
 Series: Book 1 A Popcorn Shop Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from Publisher
 Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
 Reviewed by: Tina

 The most famous treat to share at the movies, or at home watching tv or a movie has become the theme of the newest series from author Kristi Abbott. You guessed it, popcorn. Opening up POPS her gourmet popcorn shop, has always been Rebecca Anderson's dream in Grand Lake, Ohio. Where she makes her delicious popcorn breakfast bars and popcorn balls with her fun-loving, klepto manic, poodle, Sprocket and business could never be better.

 Cordelia "Coco" Bittles owns "Coco's Cocca's" next door, she is a chocolatier and makes some of the most scrumptious treats made of chocolate along with her niece, Jessica. Who just happens to be Rebecca's high school rival and it seems they are still enemies.Coco is Rebecca's friend and mentor and encouraged her to follow her culinary dreams and she genuinely  loves her. Jessica makes a discovery of her aunt dead on the floor of her shop. It soon becomes a case of a robbery gone wrong with Coco fallen victim to a cruel murder.

  After other shop owners businesses are broken into. With the town mayor lurking around the property, Rebecca soon starts to suspect hes up to no good but he is not the only one Rebecca suspects. No one in the town believes that Rebecca and Coco had a plan to go into a combined business together and soon reasons start popping up for the sheriff, who just happens to be her best friend and brother-in-law to suspect Rebecca.

 This was a very emotional, character driven first book of a cozy mystery series. I instantly fell in love with these characters a very important thing if I'm going to continue reading and reviewing a series. Author Kristi Abbott has a talent for making the characters pop off the page and make them seem so real and genuine with true to life feelings all of the characters, including the murderer which was a surprise to me. It sort of caught me by surprise too when I started crying at times.

 I also would be remiss if I didn't mention again that i'm a foodie and love the popcorn theme and Rebecca in her kitchen making her popcorn recipes was one of my favorite things about the book. I can't wait until the next book in the series" Pop Goes the murder" pops up and I can read it.

 FTC Disclosure Thank you to the publisher and/or author for providing us with a copy of this book for review.This did not influence our thoughts in any way. All the opinions of the book and honest and our own.

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LEGAL

All reviews are copyrighted by Tina Diamond and Marlene Patterson. Tina Diamond's reviews also appear at Amazon.com and Goodreads.com.

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