Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: Brilliant Disguise by Mary Anne Edwards

 Title: Brilliant Disguise
 Author: Mary Anne Edwards
 Series: The Charlie McClung Mystery
 Publisher: Sellem books
 Format: Paperback
 Genre: Mystery
 Source: Received for review from author
 Reviewed by: Marlene

Brilliant Disguise is a story about Marian Selby's  neighbor's death. Although it is quickly written off as a suicide Marian will not let it go and drafts the help of Lyman County's newest police detective Charlie McClung. Soon the two of them are not only trying to solve this murder mystery in secrecy due to a police cover up but they are also becoming emotionally closer to one another. Both have been alone for a long time and are reluctant to take that next step. But as they get closer to who done it, they ultimately fall for each other as well.

This book reminded me of Angela Lansbury from Murder She Wrote, it is tastefully set, timeless and reminds me of times when chivalry was still around, but is also set in 1982 (which I lost site of till a VCR was mentioned later on). I loved the two main characters and found I had a connection with both. I can't wait to read the next one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: Maltipoos Are Murder By Jacqui Lane

  Title: Maltipoos Are Murder
  Series: Book 1 Doggie Day Spa Mystery
  Author: Jacqui Lane
  Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  Format: E-Book: B00K48GVGK
  Pages: 146
  Genre: Cozy Mystery
  Reviewed For: A Cozy Girl Reads
  Reviewed by: DelAnne

  Moving to Middleberg, Virginia from the fast paced and bad relationships left behind in Washington DC was meant to give Cara Rogers a new start. Her Aunt Marion offered her the job of manager of La Maison de Chien, the doggie day spa she owns, Cara accepted. She had lost more than everything in Washington and needs time to regroup. Unfortunately, she arrives for her first day at the spa she finds her boss, aka Aunt Marion, dead floating face down in a doggie pool. Off to the side shaking in the shadows she finds the only witness, Rex, a lovable and sweet maltipoo puppy.When the local constabulary turns their eyes to her as a suspect, Cara decides it's up to her to find the real killer.


 Cara Rogers, is a woman of integrity and honor who loves being a vet and the animals she cares for. She  trust too easily, but is not shy on work ethics and is loyal to a fault. Detective Cole Sampson is also a person  of integrity and honor. No matter how much he may find Cara attractive she is still a suspect and he is not  about to let her get away with murder. My favorite character is Rex, so sweet you just want to cuddle him  close and take him home with you.

 This is a fast pace story seasoned with humor and suspense. You too will fall in love with Jacqui Lane's new  series. I avidly await the next in this delightful series. A cozy mystery filled with animals and dialog that will  having you laughing out loud as you read. A plot that intrigues and hold's your interest until the final reveal.  What more could you ask for?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Book Review: Delicious! By Ruth Reichl



Title: Delicious!
Author: Ruth Reichl
Publisher: Random House
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Reviewed By: Tina



Sometimes when I read a book it touches my heart and soul as this one did, Billie Breslin, applies for a job at Delicious!  A famous food magazine in New York. As a requirement to apply for the job she is asked to cook something but some how cooking gives her anxiety and panic attacks, connected to something that happened in her past, a past Billie is trying to run away from. As she and Delicious! discovers she has an excellent palate able to determine the ingredients in everything she tastes. The cooks at delicious! are tireless and re test recipes again and again to the point of perfection. She is given her first writing assignment with some trepidation as she is to write about Sal Fontanari, founder of of the Cheese shop Billie Works where Billie works part time. The owner Sal has issues with being written about and in the spotlight.

When Delicious! is shut down suddenly, Billie is offered a job to stay behind and honour the Delicious! Guarantee where every recipe in the magazine is guaranteed right or you get your money back. So she is all alone in the lonely old mansion but not for long. For many years the library at Delicious! was forbidden for entry from it's employees, as she is alone in the mansion Billie ventures in there and discovers a secret room with hidden letters from a 12 year old Lulu Swan to world famous chef James Beard during World War II.
As she reads the letters she is faced with trying to understand her past and her life, they are an inspiration to Billie as she tries to track down Lulu but wondering if she will find her because of her age. Billie must find Lulu before it's too late.Finding Lulu will be the key to unlock everything that Billie must come to terms with about her past and her future.

I'm a big fan of food fiction books. This book is written for the foodie, Like I profess to be. Many tears were shed while reading this book and it has become a favorite It's a book I know I  will never forget. I loved all the colourful characters, Billie was a very complex character and it made the story so much more better and the descriptions of food and the passion food are brought to the forefront by the author. It brought out my love and seeking more knowledge about food even deeper than it ever was before. You don't have to love food to read this book but once you read it you will learn to love it and grasp what food really is and understand the complexities of life and what it truly is.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Author Spotlight: Ruth Reichl


At A Cozy Girl Reads, I not only review cozy mysteries but I also review fiction. I'm a big fan of food fiction so I would like to introduce to you an author I'm reading this week, Ruth Reichl, I'm reading her May 6th release of Delicious ! Her first fiction novel. She is an American Food Writer and editor and chief of Gourmet Magazine and editor for Modern Library. She also has written several memoirs about her life and how food plays a role in it. Check out her website for her other titles http://www.ruthreichl.com/. My review of Delicious ! Will be up on the blog later this week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Review: Heartbreak Motel by Terri.L.Austin, Larissa Reinhart, LynDee Walker

Title: Heatbreak Motel
Author: Terri.L.Austin, Larissa Reinhart. LynDee Walker
Series: Book 3.5 Rose Strickland Mystery
Publisher: Henery Press
Format: ebook
Source: Received for review by author
Reviewed by: Tina


Diners, Keepers, Losers Weepers by Terri.L.Austin
A Rose Strickland Mystery Novella

Rose along with Ma and Rozy close the diner for the Christmas holiday and decide to make Ma's dreams of going to Graceland come true, they eventually decide to stay at the Hearbreak Motel, the motel is quite the place with Elvis inspired drag queens and it's a dive to say the least. Then an Elvis impersonator is found dead. There are also jewels discovered that are some how connected to the death and Rose starts questioning all the motel guests. Rose needs to find this devil in disguise before, her Ma and Roxy get all shook up or none of them will be home on Christmas day

This story had me on the edge of my seat, I loved all the colorful characters, Man-Margaret was a favorite.
It was a great story to start the book with. The writing was a winner. I couldn't put this story down until I was finished, Very entertaining and fun and I loved how Elvis inspired it was.


Quick Sketch by Larissa Reinhart
A Cherry Tucker Mystery Novella

Artist, Cherry Tucker and her poker playing boyfriend,Todd head to Memphis to help out Todd's cousin who has been scammed out of alot of money playing poker. Cherry and Todd decide to help Todd's cousin win some of his money back to give his kids a good Christmas. They to set up a illegal poker game with some shady characters at the Heartbreak Motel where they are staying. Then Cherry and Todd soon find themselves in a risky situation and Cherry hopes her drawing abilities will help sketch out key players in a possibly deadly game.

I loved Cherry from the start, being a former wanna be artist myself I admired how Cherry's artistic ability was woven into this story, drawing the  players was a stoke of genius on the authors part., This story was pure entertainment and very exciting. I read right until the end to see how it all played out.

Dateline Memphis by LynDee Walker
A Nichelle Clarke Headline in Heals Mystery Novella

 Newspaper Crime Reporter, Nichelle is in Memphis to get her mom a gift from Graceland, and is staying at the Heartbreak Motel But as Nichelle discovers the news never stops as Graceland is soon locked down on the heals of a supposed theft of one of Elvis Gold Belt's he wore in concert she also soon discovers a theft of some valuable Elvis coins from the gift shop, Nichelle breaks the story within the Graceland mansion walls trying to track down the Elvis thief so he will be singing to the tune of Jailhouse Rock.

I would have loved to be Nichelle in this story, I was really immersed into this story being an  a Elvis fan and would have loved being locked in at Graceland. A Page turner and a pleasure to read. This is one of the stories with being an Elvis fan that I will never forget.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book Review: Angora Alibi By Sally Goldenbaum

Title: Angora Alibi
Author: Sally GoldenBaum
Series: Book 7, A Seaside Knitters Mystery
Publisher: Obsidian
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for review from Publisher
Reviewed By: Tina


A member of the seaside knitters club and yarn shop owner Izzy and her husband Sam are having a baby and with the demands of pregnancy and life Izzy tries to stay in shape with running along the sea shore, then one day she sees a abandoned infant car seat with a blanket in it she has seen before. She recognizes it as yarn blanket displayed in her shop window, then Izzy can't stop thinking about the car seat and the blanket inside when she decides to put the car seat in her trunk then strange things start happening....

A friend of Izzy's distant relative, Justin dies when he is scuba diving  and soon every one in the seaside knitters club discovers that Justin was murdered and then another local man that lives along the shore, Horace is murdered. The Seaside knitters are soon on the case and try to weave together the  pieces of the puzzle to discover that someone in their town is a murderer.

This book hooked me from the first page, I became lost and transported in this Sea Harbor world of the Seaside Knitters Club and a murderer, beautiful writing with many animated characters. I don't knit but always wanted to learn and if you are a knitter or not you will enjoy this story, it was the cozy aspect of this cozy mystery. Even the covers of this series beckon me to want to read them and become part of their world.


Friday, May 9, 2014

GIVEAWAY OF HEARTBREAK MOTEL

 Just leave a comment to win an ebook for your kindle, nook, kobo or iBook of  HEARTBREAK MOTEL by Terri. L. Austin, Larissa Reinhart and LynDee Walker on our facebook page , So click on Like us on facebook on the blog and click on our facebook page link and like us and I will draw a winner Monday morning so you have all weekend to enter, one comment a person and please share someone that would just love an Elvis mystery like me. Can't wait to see some entries from my loyal facebook followers and some new ones too.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Review: Murder Gone A-Rye By Nancy .J. Parra

 Title: Murder Gone A-Rye
 Author: Nancy.J.Parra
 Series: Book 2: A Baker's Treat Mystery
 Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
 Format: Paperback
 Source: Received for review from publisher
 Reviewed By: Tina

When Gluten-free baker ,Toni’s off the wall grand mother, Ruth finds her self in a predicament with being arrested for the murder of her nemesis, Lois Striker nothing is the same. With Toni’s gluten free bakery business in full swing and her grandmother a murder suspect and the police finding tracks from a scooter just like grandma Ruth’s near the murder scene Grandma Ruth and Toni take it upon themselves to investigate the murder but Grandma Ruth is having a little too much fun investigating with her being a former investigative journalist.

Toni and Grandma Ruth begin digging up buried secrets and in this cozy mystery like many others all small towns have buried secrets. There are secrets in Lois's past. Many key players surface in this game of murder and more possible suspects than thanksgiving pies Toni needs to bake. It’s also up to Toni to keep her elderly grandmother safe while finding a murderer. The eccentric Grandma Ruth is what made Murder Gone A-rye so great, She had me turning page after page, she made it exciting and I always wondered what hair brained scheme she and her friend Phyllis would come up with next to try to catch the killer. I hope Grandma Ruth appears in the next book she made reading it so enjoyable and the bakery and scrumptious treats made it even better

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

GIVEAWAY ANNOUNCEMENT STARTING FRIDAY

Starting Friday and running through Monday by donation from one of the authors, Larissa Reinhart. We are giving away a ebook of your choice, Kindle, Kobo, Nook, or ibook of HEARTBREAK MOTEL by Terri.L.Austin, Larissa Reinhart and LynDee Walker. The giveway will run on our facebook page so be sure to click on the page, Like us on facebook and click on the link to like our facebook page from the blog.

Book Synopsis:


Elvis has left the building, but he’s forever memorialized at the Heartache Motel. Filled with drag queens, Rock-a-Hula cocktails, and a vibrating velveteen bed, these three novellas tell the tales of three amateur sleuths who spend their holidays at the King’s beloved home.
 DINERS KEEPERS, LOSERS WEEPERS by Terri L. Austin A Rose Strickland Mystery Novella (follows DINER IMPOSSIBLE)
When Rose and the gang head to Graceland right before Christmas, they get all shook up: the motel is a seedy dump and an Elvis impersonator turns up dead. Rose discovers missing jewels tie into the death and her suspicious mind flips into overdrive, questioning her fellow guests, the staff, and even a cute impersonator who keeps popping up. Will Rose be able to find the murderer and get home by Christmas day? It’s now or never.
 QUICK SKETCH by Larissa Reinhart A Cherry Tucker Mystery Novella (prequel to PORTRAIT OF A DEAD GUY)
Sassy Southern artist Cherry Tucker and her poker-loving boyfriend, Todd, pop into Memphis to help Todd’s cousin who’s been hustled out of his savings, right before Christmas. Staying at the shady Heartache Motel, Cherry can’t tell a shill from a mark and fears everyone is playing them for chumps. Cherry and Todd quickly find themselves in a dangerous sting that could send them to the slammer or mark them as pigeons from cons looking for an even bigger score.
 DATELINE MEMPHIS by LynDee Walker A Headlines in High Heels Mystery Novella (follows BURIED LEADS)
Crime reporter Nichelle Clarke thinks she’s going home for Christmas. But a quick stop at Graceland proves news breaks in the strangest places. When the King's home gets locked down with Nichelle inside, she chases this headline into the national spotlight—and the thief's crosshairs. Christmas dreams of blue suede Manolos fade, and all Nichelle wants from Santa is to land the story before the thief cuts off her news feed for good.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: The Big Bunny Bump Off by Kathi Daley

 Title: Big Bunny Bump Off - Zoe Donovan Mystery
 Book 5 Author: Kathi Daley
 Publisher: Kathi Daley Published: 2-10-2014
 ISBN: 14592291X E-Book ASIN: B00IDHUZCA
 Pages: 191
 Genre: Cozy Mystery
 Tags: Thriller & Suspense, Animals, Women Sleuths
 Sensual Level - Very Mild
 Overall Rating: Great
 Reviewed For: Kathi Daley/A Cozy Girl Reads
 Reviewer: DelAnne

Zoe Donovan, former animal control officer for the county, now operating a private animal shelter sponsored by her wealthy boyfriend Zak, has a nasty habit of stumbling over dead bodies. With Easter fast approaching one expects to see the Easter Bunny hiding Easter Eggs and delivering Easter Baskets filled with goodies, not the Easter Bunny running away from a dead body. When Zoe delivered the menu of her friend Ellie's new restaurant to the much unloved banker Charles Blakely, she saw the Easter Bunny running away from the back of the bank and a dead Blakely inside. Even tho she tries to keep away from the investigation, Zoe can not help herself and is drawn in and soon danger is following her. Who among them many killed the banker? Why? What were they after?

As with all Kathi Daley's books there is humor and laughter in her books. It is not uncommon for me to find myself laughing out loud as I read them. The Zoe Donovan series is no exception. What makes is unique from other cozy mysteries is her heroine. Zoe is extremely loyal to her family, friends and town. Her love of animals drew me too her as I too love all animals, well maybe not amphibians and snakes, but all others. She finds way to care and rehabilitate wild life and return them to their natural habitat for all to enjoy and domesticated animals are found homes where they are loved and wanted. I could never work in a kill facility, but if Zoe ever needs volunteers for Zoe's Ark I will be first in line.

The romance between her and Zack is true and strong. Zak accepts Zoe, quirks and all. Zoe is a bit clingy with Zak, but she understands his having to travel and makes the most of the time that they have together. I love the way she is thrilled with her parents finally being friends and having another child. She is the center of the books, but she is more than willing to share the spotlight with the other characters. Each and every character is an individual. Although you could read this book by itself and be entertained, you will be wondering about certain events from past books that are mentioned.

 I suggest you read the series from the beginning and watch as the relationships develop and some fall apart. You will be immersed in the life of Zoe Donovan and those she holds dear. If you are lucky she will call you friend. You may want to take a short vacation around any holiday as there seems to be strange habit of murdered bodies being left lying around during those times. Otherwise Ashton Falls seems like the kind of town I can imagine myself living in. I think you can too.

The next Zoe Donovan story, Beach Blanket Barbie, is now out and I am looking forward to reading and reviewing it. If per chance you have not tried Kathi Daley yet, you are in for a treat with her witty dialog and characters that you will soon call friends. If you have already read all the Zoe Donovan stories available, check out her TJ Jensen series. You will find another favorite to add to your list.

Book Review: Nine Lives to Die by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown

Title: Nine Lives To Die
Author: Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown
Series: Book 22, Mrs Murphy
Publisher: Bantam
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by: Tess

Sneaky Pie Brown and his buddies are back, and I for one am very glad. This is the 24th book of this series, and I believe 25 will be released in the fall. Mrs. Murphy and Tee Tucker are of course close by, As is Harry and some of her friends. I did miss Big and Little Mim, it's always fun to catch up with them. It's winter and everyone is really wrapped up in the end of the year activities. Not only parties to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, there are also charity events and fundraisers, and that's where the trouble start. By the end of the book. we have 3 bodies, 2 recent and 1 at least a 25 year cold case.

 Sneaky Pie and friends are the ones who discover the cold case, and they are a great help in solving this. Mean while Harry and Fair, find themselves knee deep in the 2 current murders, who happened to be members of the Silver Linings group, who's only reach for fame is to help the under privileged in the area. Who is the killer of the organization members, who is responsible for the murder of the cold case, and by the way, who is the cold case? Sneaky Pie and friends always entertain me, I look forward to each new book that Ms. Browns gives to us. I am so fortunate to be able to read and review advance copies of the books. I look forward to reviewing the one in the fall. Thanks, Sneaky Pie and Ms. Brown for all of the entertainment you have given us with this series.

Book Review: A Killing Notion by Melissa Bourbon

Title: A Killing Notion
Author: Melissa Bourbon
Series: Book 5, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery
Publisher: Signet
Format: Paperback
Source: Advanced Review Copy
Reviewed By: Tess


  I feel privileged that I was asked to read an advanced copy of this book which is the fifth book in the series Magical Dressmaking Mystery. The Cassidy ladies have secrets that must be kept from the people of Bliss Texas, now don't get me wrong, it's not terrible secrets just small ones the townsfolk wouldn't understand. It's homecoming week in Bliss and Harlow has been designing and sewing dresses for the young ladies in town. Gracie the daughter of Harlow's beau Will has decided to make her own dress. But will there be any reason to finish it when Gracie's date is accused of murder? Once again Harlow and her friends are playing amateur sleuth. Will they be able to figure this one out, especially when men keep dying?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cozy Mystery Giveaways Coming Soon

So excited to be doing my first two cozy mystery giveaways, one coming soon and one in June.....but I think I will keep you all in suspense as to what the books are and who the authors are, please keep sharing and liking my page on facebook A Cozy Girl Reads facebook page and following my blog.

Book Review: The Pickled Piper By Mary Ellen Hughes

Title: The Pickled Piper
Author: Mary Ellen Hughes
Series: Book 1, Pickled & Preserved
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for Review from Publisher
Reviewed By: Tina

Piper Lamb loves pickles so she decides to open her own shop specializing in pickles and preserves, called Piper's Picklings, in her hometown of Cloverdale. She sets up a booth at the Cloverdale fair to promote her new business along with her assistant, Amy.

Soon Piper finds herself in a pickle when a fight breaks out between Amy's boyfriend, Nate and the the town councilman and all around scumbag and bagpipe player, Alan Rosemont. Soon enough Alan is found dead and floating in Piper's beloved pickle barrel at the fair. Nate becomes the prime suspect and Piper starts her search for a killer and becomes a target of someone's wrath but she needs to be careful before she becomes pickled.

I really enjoyed this first in a series being a fan of eating pickles myself, it was charming and cozy in  picturesque setting. Great new characters, Sleuth, Piper and her Aunt Judy became fast favorites
. It was great but a little creepy to find out I had a connection to the killer. I wish this series continued success and can't wait for the next one.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Book Review: A Cookbook Conspiracy By Kate Carlisle

Title : A Cookbook Conspiracy
Author: Kate Carlisle
Series: Book 7, A Bibliophile Mystery
Publisher: Obsidian
Format: Paperback
Source: Received for review from Publisher
Reviewed by: Tina

 Book binder and wanna be foodie, Brooklyn Wainwright is asked by her sister and chef extraordinaire, Savannah to bring back to life an antique cookbook, Brooklyn jumps at the chance. It is for Savannah's superstar chef boyfriend, Baxter Cromwell. Savannah gives the restored book to Baxter as a gift at the opening of his new restaurant along with many of their other successful chef friends in attendance.

The night of the restaurant opening, Baxter is found murdered in his very own restaurant kitchen and then cookbooks goes missing and Savannah becomes the primary suspect, Brooklyn is determined to prove that Savannah is innocent, there are many past hurts and bad blood that surface from the other chefs and old friends. Its up to Brooklyn to fan the flame before her sister, Savannah's goose is cooked for good.

This book is a reread for me, I enjoyed it the first time, thought I would review the paperback edition. Great culinary theme throughout, suspenseful  and wacky characters and any bibliophiles dream. Books and food and murder make for the best combination in this paperback edition.  I'm a big fan of this series and any cozy  mystery including books and murder and food, count me in.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book Review: The Silence of The Library By Miranda James

Title: The Silence of The Library
Author: Miranda James
Series: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery, Book 5
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Format: Paperback
Source: Library Check out


It's library week time again in Athena, Mississippi, with the Athena Public Library planning an event to honour famous children mystery novelist, Electra Barnes Cartwright, she wrote the childhood Veronica Thane mysteries.

Librarian, Charlie absolutely loves the Veronica Thane Series and when the author agrees to make a appearance at the event Charlie and the Athena Library are delighted, soon news of the event gets around and book collecters of the Veronica Thane Series and the die hard fans of the author come out of the wood work to assemble upon the library.

There's talk that there are unpublished books in the series and there's a murderer out there wants to get their hands on them, Librarian, Charlie and his Main Coon Cat, Diesel take it upon them selves to catch a killer before someone they care about gets permanently shelved for good.

I can't get enough of this series, It is one of my favorites. You love the loveable characters and loath the villians, which is what makes a cozy mystery a cozy mystery. Librarian, Charlie and Diesel the Maine coon cat are what make the series so great and makes me wonder what antics they will get themselves into next. Fast Paced reading from beginning to end, you won't put this one down. Charlie and Diesel are the odd couple of cozy mysteries.

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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