Tuesday, January 7, 2020

ROCCO's January Reivews!

Ma-Row! Starting out with a favorite series!

CARELESS WHISKERS
ACAT IN THE STACKS MYSTERY
MIRANDA JAMES
BERKLEY, JAN 21ST HARDCOVER
FIVE STARS


Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close call. Instead, he's delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who's starring in a production of Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie's son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be calling the directorial shots.  

Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the chief suspect in his murder.  

Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and  he’s not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So,  despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center stage, and with Diesel’s help, shine a  spotlight on the real killer.

We all knew Charlie Harris and Diesel would not swear off solivng mysteries and we are glad they did not!  Another entertaining entry in this fine series that should please fans old and new alike.  Five paws!

MURDER INK
VICTORIA SQUARE MYSTERY
LORRAINE BARTLETT AND GAYLE LEESON
BERKLEY, DEC 31, MM PAPERBACK
FOURSTARS




The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlor in town in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

A tattoo parlor on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That's what the sheriff's office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building's owner is electrocuted with his own saw.

Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square's tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake?



THERE'S A MURDER AFOOT
VICKI DELANEY
SHERLOCK HOLMES BOOKSHOP MYSTERIES
CROOKED LANE
JANUARY 7
FOUR AN A HALF PAWS

Just in time for Sherlock Holmes's 166th birthday, the fifth installment in national bestselling author Vicki Delany's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery takes Sherlockania to the max with a Holmes convention and historic 221 Baker Street.

Gemma Doyle and her friends travel to London for a Sherlock Holmes convention--but will Gemma's father take the fall for a felonious forger's fatality?

The 6th of January is Sherlock Holmes's birthday, and lucky for Gemma Doyle, January is also the slowest time of the year at both the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, and Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room. It's a good time for Gemma and her friends to travel to England for a Holmes Convention. For Gemma, the trip provides an opportunity to visit her parents, Jayne Wilson is excited about seeing all the sites London has to offer, and Ryan Ashburton just wants to spend some time with Gemma. But the trip is immediately derailed when Gemma's father Henry recognizes his brother-in-law Randolph Denhaugh, who disappeared more than thirty years ago on the night he stole a valuable painting from his own parents.

Henry, a retired detective with Scotland Yard, has been keeping tabs on the man's career as a forger of Old Masters and he warns Randy to stay away from his family. It's up to Gemma, with the help of her friends, to plunge into the "lowest and vilest alleys" of London to save her father from prison.

Another good entry in this series!  (and did you notice Sherlock Holmes and Elvis have the same birthdy?


CLAW ENFORCEMENT
SOFIE RYAN
BERKLEY, JANUARY 7 2020
SECOND CHANCE CAT MSYTERY
FOUR AND A HALF PAWS




Sarah Grayson and her feline ally, Elvis, are hot on the tail of a crafty killer in the newest installment of the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat mysteries.

Sarah Grayson owns a delightful secondhand shop in the small town of North Harbor, Maine, where she and her rescue cat, Elvis, are always finding themselves up to their whiskers in trouble. With the help of a quirky group of senior citizens—who call themselves Charlotte’s Angels and work out of the store—they solve crimes both new and vintage.

Local squabbles about property development have the town in quite a state of drama—and it seems like someone may even be upset enough to kill. When a local man involved in the real estate quagmire falls over dead at a reception to celebrate the harbor front’s redevelopment, Sarah gets roped in to investigate by her own IT expert, Mr. P., who has long known the victim’s stepfather. Between Sarah, Elvis and Charlotte’s Angels, the killer is sure to have claws for concern

Another good entryin this series. Four and a half paws!!!!!

BURIED TO THE BRIM
HAT SHOP MYSTERY
JENN  MCKINLAY
JANUARY 28, 2020
FOUR PAWS





New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay's beloved Hat Shop duo Scarlett Parker and Vivian Tremont return to don their sleuthing caps and solve a murder that's death in show.

London's most refined canines and their humans are gearing up for the Pets and Wellness Society's annual dog show--and Betty Wentworth, favorite aunt to Scarlett's fiancé Harrison and proud owner of corgi front-runner Freddy, knows that this could be their year with the right edge. Never one to turn away a corgi in need, Scarlett convinces her milliner cousin, Vivian, to design matching hats for dream team Betty and Freddy as they compete for Best in Show.

It's a tail wagging good time until the dog-food sponsor of the event is found dead and Betty is the prime suspect. Vivian and Scarlett agree to enter the competition in Betty's place and help Harrison catch the real killer before Betty is collared for a crime she didn't commit.




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Saturday, December 14, 2019

ROCCO's December cozy Reviews!!!!!!

Merow!
Let's start off with a new series!


LADY TAKES THE CASE
A Manor Cat Mystery
Eliza Casey
Berkley Prime Crime
November 26, 2019
4 1/2 stars

When a dinner party turns deadly, the feisty Lady Cecilia Bates and intuitive cat Jack are on the case, in this first entry to an exciting new historical-mystery series.

England 1912. Danby Hall is the only home Lady Cecilia Bates has ever known. Despite the rigid rules of etiquette and her mother the Countess of Avebury's fervent desire to see her married off, Lady Cecilia can't imagine life anywhere else. But now, with an agricultural depression sweeping the countryside, the Bates family's possession of the hall is suddenly in peril.  

A possible solution arrives in the form of the imperious American heiress Annabel Clarke. The Earl and Countess of Avebury are determined that Cecilia's brother, Patrick, will win Annabel's hand in marriage—and her fortune along with it. To help the lackluster Patrick in this pursuit, the Bates and their staff arrange a grand house party upon the heiress's arrival. 

first in a new and promising series!  With of course a stellar cat!  Four 1/2 paws!!!!!!


MURDER SHE WROTE: A TIME FOR MURDER
Jessica Fletcher/Jon Land
Berkley Prime Crime
November 26, 2019
Five Paws


In the fiftieth entry in this USA Today bestselling series, two timelines converge as Jessica Fletcher returns to high school to investigate the murder of an old colleague, while we meet Jessica as a young teacher solving her very first murder...Young Jessica Fletcher's life couldn't be more ordinary. She teaches at the local high school while she and her loving husband, Frank, are raising their nephew Grady together. But when the beloved principal dies under mysterious circumstances, Jessica knows something is off and, for the very first time, investigates a death.

Present-day Jessica returns to high school for a colleague's retirement party and has fun seeing familiar faces. That is, until the colleague winds up dead--and his death has mysterious links to Jessica's very first murder case. 

With nothing but her own instincts to guide her, Jessica embarks on a quest to find out what really happened all those years ago

Jon Land does justince to Jessica's 50th adventure!  the plot alternates between two time eras, intertwining two mysteries.  Excellent addition to this tried and true series. Five paws!!!!!


BREWED AWAKENING
A COFFEEHOUSE MYSTERY
CLEO COYLE
DECEMBER 3, 2019
FIVE STARS
BERKLEY PRIME CRIME


When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she's been missing for the past week, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she's back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiancé. But to Mike Quinn's crushing distress, Clare doesn't remember him, or much of anything about the last decade of her life.

Clare's missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare's elegant employer--and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as "The Ladies Who Brunch"--invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. The pair took a stroll after their indulgent tasting and, according to security camera footage, a masked figure snatched the hotel heiress at gunpoint with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare's memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.

To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.

Love, love, love this series and all the characters!  As always, a fine mystery and I can't wait for the next!  
Five Paws!!!!!


SELL LOW SWEET HARRIET
Sarah WinstonGarage Sale mystery
Kensington
Sherry Harris
December 31, 2019


ONE WOMAN’S TRASH . . .
Sarah Winston’s garage sale business has a new client: the daughter of a couple who recently died in a tragic accident while away on a trip to Africa. Their house is full of exotic items from around the world that need to be sold off. When Sarah learns that the deceased were retired CIA agents, the job becomes more intriguing—but when an intruder breaks in and a hidden camera is found, it also becomes more dangerous. And Sarah has enough on her plate right now since she’s investigating a murder on the side at the nearby Air Force base, where her status as a former military spouse gives her a special kind of access.
 
. . . IS ANOTHER WOMAN’S TROUBLE
With so much work piling up, Sarah decides to hire some help. But her assistant, Harriet—a former FBI hostage negotiator—has a rare talent for salesmanship. Which is good, because Sarah may have to haggle for her life with Harriet’s assistance . . .


MATCHMAKING CAN BE MURDER
Amanda Flower
Kensington
december 31, 2019
four stars
When widowed Millie Fisher moves back to her childhood home of Harvest, Ohio, she notices one thing right away—the young Amish are bungling their courtships and marrying the wrong people! A quiltmaker by trade, Millie has nevertheless stitched together a few lives in her time, with truly romantic results. Her first mission? Her own niece, widowed gardener Edith Hochstetler, recently engaged to rude, greedy Zeke Miller. Anyone can see he’s not right for such a gentle young woman—except Edith herself.
 
Pleased when she convinces the bride-to-be to leave her betrothed before the wedding, Millie is later panicked to find Zeke in Edith’s greenhouse—as dead as a tulip in the middle of winter. To keep her niece out of prison—and to protect her own reputation—Millie will have to piece together a patchwork of clues to find a killer, before she becomes the next name on his list . . .
 



win one of ROCCO's review copies!  Leave your name and email address in our comments section.  Rocco will choose one at random.  US entries only, please.  Contest ends 12/30.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

ROCCO's November cozies!!!!!


ROCCO starts off with:

SILENT KNIT, DEADLY KNIT
PEGGY EHRHARDT
KENSINGTON
A KNIT AND NIBBLE MSTERY
NOVEMBER 1, 2019
FOUR PAWS

When murder silences the Christmas cheer in charming Arborville, New Jersey, Pamela and her Knit and Nibble pals must unravel the most bone-chilling mystery this side of the North Pole . . .

Pamela has been in merry spirits since her artsy daughter Penny returned home from college for the holidays. But their mother-daughter bonding time gets cut short when a terrified Penny stumbles upon the dumped body of Millicent Farthingale, a wealthy craft shop owner who was popular for all the wrong reasons. From a scheming business partner to a seedy husband several years her junior, Millicent attracted scammers so in love with her assets, they’d toss her down a chimney to get their paws on them. Now, with only a hand-knit red scarf connecting the killer to the crime, Pamela and the Knit and Nibblers could use some extra creativity as they find out who’s really naughty or nice in Arborville—because going up against a looming culprit is DIY or die!

Knitting tips and delicious recipe included!


CHOCOLATE SHARK SHENANIGANS
Joanna Carl
Berkley
November 5, 2019
Four Paws

When a house near Lee and Joe's home goes up for sale, the couple teams up with Lee's aunt and uncle, Nettie and Hogan, to buy it, remodel it, and resell it for a sweet profit. But after the owners of the house, the Baileys, accept their offer, a local developer, Richard "Spud" Dirk, suddenly swoops in with a higher one, and it seems their dreams might be snatched away.

Lee, never as passionate about the plan as her husband and uncle, is anxious to get back to focusing on managing TenHuis Chocolade. But when a long-hidden gun is found behind a pipe in the Baileys' basement, she begins to suspect a mystery is afoot. And when Spud turns up dead in the Baileys' carport a few days later, it becomes clear there's something rotten at the foundation....

To solve the murder, Lee will have to strip away layers of secrets--that is, if someone doesn't level her first....


THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH
KRISTA DAVIS
BERKLEY
NOVEMBER 26, 2019
FOUR 1/2 PAWS




When a famous pooch comes to Wagtail for some downtime, inn owner Holly Miller learns that murder never rests in this all-new Paws & Claws mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.

America's favorite dog comes to pet-friendly Wagtail for some rest and relaxation, but Holly quickly discovers that this perfect pup is a total scamp who takes every opportunity to run off and misbehave. During an outdoor treasure-hunting game, the star dog and Trixie, Holly's beloved Jack Russell terrier, stumble across a dead body.

Holly has more than murder to worry about, though, when a man shows up after reading an article featuring Trixie in a magazine and claims that he is the dog's rightful owner. Holly will need to prove that she is her pup's only parent and catch a killer to restore peace to her pet-loving happy place.  A+++ MYSTERY!!!!!!!  A ROCCO top pick.


CITY OF SCOUNDRELS
VICTORIA THOMPSON
COUNTERFEIT LADY MYSTERY
BERKLEY
NOVEMBER 5, 2019
FOUR PAWS


An exciting new book in the series featuring Elizabeth Miles, con woman turned Lady, from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.Elizabeth Miles finds herself in a position no con can help her escape. Her beloved fiancé, Gideon Bates, is awaiting his turn in the draft to fight in the Great War. Elizabeth is finding it hard to think of anything else, but Gideon has thrown himself into his work, preparing wills for soldiers before they ship out. Corporal Tom Preston is part owner of Preston Shoes, a company that is making footwear for the army, so he has a rather large estate. He needs a new will, however, because he has just been secretly married to a woman whom his family would never approve. He wants to make sure she and their unborn child are provided for if he does not return.

When Tom is later reported killed, Elizabeth and Gideon learn that the new will has gone missing after Tom's bride revealed her identity to his family. Unless the new will is found and validated, the original will, which leaves everything to Tom's brother, will prevail and the wife and child will get nothing. If Tom's new bride survives, that is. Some terrible threats have been leveled against her, and Elizabeth and Gideon must figure out a way, legal or not quite, to secure Tom's fortune for his wife and child while saving her life in the process.


POPPY REDFERN AND THE MIDNIGHT MURDERS
TESSA ARLEN
BERKLEY
NOVEMBER 5, 2019
FOUR PAWS

NEW SERIES!!!!!


Charming and feisty Poppy Redfern stumbles into murder in this exciting new World War II historical mystery series from critically acclaimed author Tessa Arlen.
    
Summer 1942. The world has been at war for three long and desperate years. In the remote English village of Little Buffenden, Poppy Redfern’s family house and farmland has been requisitioned by the War Office as a new airfield for the American Air Force. As the village's Air Raid Warden, Poppy spends her nights patrolling the village as she tries to ease her neighbors’ fears about the “Friendly Invasion” and what it means to their quiet way of life.

When two young, popular women who were dating American servicemen are found strangled, Poppy quickly realizes that her little town has been divided by murder. The mistrust and suspicion of their new American partners in war threatens to tear Little Buffenden apart. Poppy decides to start her own investigation with the help of a charismatic American pilot and she soon unearths some chilling secrets and long-held grudges. Poppy will have no choice but to lay a trap for a killer so perilously close to home, she might very well become the next victim....


WIN ONE OF ROCCO'S REVIEW COPIES!

To enter, just leave your name and email address n our comments section. for extra entries,  mention this blog/contest on Facebook and Twitter!  Winner will be chosen November 26, 2019!  US entries only please!

Saturday, October 19, 2019

A SPECIAL ROCCO REVIEW....MUMBO GUMBO MURDER

Meow, one of our very favorite authors is Laura Childs.  She and Terrie Farley Moran have another Scrapbooking Mystery out this month - and it's a goodie!



MUMBO GUMBO MURDER
A Scrapbooking Mystery
Laura Childs/Terrie Farley Moran
Hardcover/ Berkley Prime Crime
October 1, 2019
Five Paws!!!!!



It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.
     
As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling's antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon's body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They're shocked beyond belief—and now Mimi, Devon's little pug, is left homeless.

Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer's list?

Okay, this is quickly morphing into one of my all time favorite series.  I always feel like I'm right in New Orleans and in the thick of things. Carmela's love of danger and adventure closely mirrors another of Laura Child's heroines, except Carmela usually manages to keep her wardrobe intact.  I love the way she and Ava hurl themselves headlong into usually sticky situtations and think of the consequences later.  Carmela also always manages to somehow sabotage her love life - case in point, entering into a partnership (albeit unwiling) with former boyfriend Quigg.  Co-managine the Blush and Brush could open up some new possibilities for future mysteries, though. A touch of humor when Ava sees out a matchmaker to improve her date life!  Longtime fans will be pleased to know Carmela's finally purchased her wedding dress - so now does this mean there's a wedding in the foreseeable future?  Guess we'll just have to wait on pins and needles for the next adventure to find out! 

New fans as well as old will cheer over this latest instalment.  A worthy five paws!!!!!!!



Win a copy of MUMBO GUMBO MURDER!!!!!!

Laura will be giving away a copy of Mumbo Gumbo Murder to one lucky commenter!  To enter, just leave your name and contact info in our comments section (US entries only, please).  For extra points, you can mentioin this blog/giveaway on Facebook and Twitter!    Winner chosen at random using random.org on October 26! 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

ROCCO'S OCTOBER COZY REVIEWS!

MA-ROW!!!

ROCCO's October cozy reviews are here!!!!!!!


A Killer Carol
An Amsh Mystery
Laura Bradford
Berkley Prime Crime
September 29, 2019
four Stars

As the owner of Heavenly Treasures, the local gift shop, Claire is busier than ever helping her English customers (and even a few of her Amish friends, like Esther and Ben) find the perfect gift for the special people on their shopping list.

Claire makes sure she has time for her boyfriend, Detective Jakob Fisher. But the man, who was raised and then shunned by the Amish over his choice of career, has been unusually secretive lately. She tries not to worry, to trust their relationship, but trying and doing aren't exactly matching up.

Before she can figure out what's going on with Jakob, word comes that Ruth and Samuel Yoder are being questioned in the death of an elderly Amish couple, found murdered not long after the newlyweds were seen leaving the victims' farm. Ruth, in turn, seeks Claire's help in convincing the police that she and Samuel had nothing to do with what happened. But when Claire comes across a cryptic note tucked inside the wedding gift the victims had given the newlyweds no more than an hour before their murder, she finds herself in dire need of a little convincing as well.

Can Claire get to the bottom of things in time to ensure a merry Christmas for all?  Cute cozy with interesttig characters  Four paws



BEYOND A REASONABLE STOUT
ELLIE ALEXANDER
MINOTAUR/HARD COVER
OCTOBER 1, 2019
FOUR AND A HALF STARS



Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause delves into the murderous political world in another delightful mystery from popular cozy writer Ellie Alexander.
It’s the dead season in Leavenworth, Washington. The throngs of Oktoberfest crowds have headed home, and the charming Bavarian streets are quiet and calm―momentarily. Villagers use the reprieve to drink in the crisp fall mountain air and prepare for the upcoming winter light festival. Soon the German-inspired shops and restaurants will be aglow with thousands of twinkling lights. Visitors will return to the northern Cascades to drink warm mulled cider and peruse the holiday markets. Brewer, Sloan Krause and her partner in crime Garrett Strong are using the slowdown to stock up on a new line of their signature craft beers at Nitro. They’re experimenting with a hoppy holiday pine and a chocolate hazelnut stout. The small brewery is alive with delicious scents and bubbling batches of brew.
Sloan is in her element. She loves the creativity and lowkey atmosphere at Nitro. Only that is soon threatened by the incumbent city councilmember Kristopher Cooper. Kristopher is running for re-election on a platform of making Leavenworth dry. Everyone in beertopia is fuming. Leavenworth’s economy relies on keeping the kegs flowing. Kristopher wants to banish beer, a policy that might just bankrupt the entire village. However, Kristopher turns up dead days before election night. Sloan quickly realizes that his murder isn’t the work of a stranger. Friends, family, and every other business owner had a motive to kill him, including none other than April Ablin, Leavenworth’s self-described ambassador of all things German. Sloan finds herself defending April and trying to sleuth out a killer amongst a group of familiar faces.  THIS IS AN ENJOYABLE SERIES, PARTICULARLY IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEER AND LEARNING MORE ABOUT IT.  I ENJOY WATCHING SLOAN DELVE INTO MYSTERIES AND I PARTICLARLY ENJOY THE SEXUAL TENSION BETWEEN HER AND GARRETT AND ALSO BETWEEN SLOANE AND HER EX.  A DEFINITE 4 1/2 PAWS!!1



COACHED TO DEATH
VICTORIA LAURIE
KENSINGTON
OCTOBER 1, 2019
FIVE STARS

When Catherine Cooper settles in the Hamptons on the heels of a nasty split from her long-time husband, the luxurious coastal community seems like the perfect place to get back on track in style. But as Cat soon discovers, starting fresh on the East End can be deadly . . .

Cat Cooper never imagined selling off her in-demand marketing firm would mean going from the pinnacle of success to a walking hot mess. Gouged from an unexpected divorce, Cat suddenly finds herself struggling through a new career as a business-savvy life coach for the hopelessly adrift in East Hampton and contending with Heather Holland—a spiteful neighbor who will do anything to bully her out of town. But her second act may very well continue behind bars when Heather’s dead body turns up next to a shattered punchbowl . . . and Cat’s pinned as the murderer.

But given Heather’s mean girl reputation, any one of the guests at her invite-only luncheon could have committed the crime before planting Cat’s punchbowl next to the body. Determined not to trade designer duds for an unflattering prison jumpsuit, Cat sides with her best friend Gilley to scour chic boutiques and oceanfront mansions in search of the criminal who framed her. With a stoic detective looking to get her in cuffs, it’s up to Cat to catch the real killer and land on her feet once again . . .

Fans of Laurie's Abby Cooper series will enjoy seieng Abby's sister Cat take center stage. Who knew Cat had it in her to be a detective?  Hoping that this signals the start of a new series for Laurie.  Five stars.



SHOT THROUGH THE HEARTH
A Fixer Upper Mystery
Kate Carlisle
October 29, 2019
BERKLEY PRIME CRIME
FIVE STARS

Contractor Shannon Hammer is measuring murder motives in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Wrench in the Works and Eaves of Destruction...

Shannon's good friend and retired tech billionaire, Raphael Nash, is loving his new retired life but he can't stay unoccupied for too long. He's started the Marigold Foundation that helps fund small companies and individuals who do humanitarian work around the world. It's an exciting time in Lighthouse Cove as Raphael hosts the first ever global conference inviting big thinkers from every area of industry to give presentations on eco-living.

Raphael's old business partner arrives in town with a grudge and a plan to steal him away from his important new passion project. Shannon knows her friend has no intention of giving up Marigold and is proud of Raphael for sticking to his guns. But when his former associate winds up dead, all signs point to Raphael.

It's up to Shannon to hammer out the details of the murder before her friend gets pinned for the crime...

This is anohter enjoyable entry in the Shannon Hammer series (which I found via the Hallmark movies). 



MUMBO GUMBO MURDER
LAURA CHILDS/TERRIE FARLEY MORAN
sCRAPBOOKNG MYSTERY
OCTOBER 1, 2019
BERKLEY
FIVE STARS

It's Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and the giant puppets from the Beastmaster Puppet Theatre are parading through the French Quarter. Some are very spooky and veiled, others are tall and gangly, like strange aliens.

As the parade proceeds, Carmela Bertrand and her best friend, Ava, follow behind, down Royal Street and past the food booths. Suddenly, they hear a terrible crash from Devon Dowling's antiques shop. They rush inside to find Devon collapsed with blood streaming down the side of his face. Has he been shot? Stabbed? 911 is hastily called, and the police and EMTs show up. After the police examine Devon's body, they tell Carmela and Ava that their friend was murdered with an icepick. They're shocked beyond belief—and now Mimi, Devon's little pug, is left homeless.

Carmela and Ava are determined to catch the murderer, but the list of suspects is long. How long do they have before they find themselves on the killer's list?  What can we say?  #16 is just as good as the first 15!  Watch for a more detailed review and giaveaway next week!!!!!!

A MERRY MURDER
Kate Kingsbury
A Pennyfoot Holiday Mystery
Berkley PUblishing
October 1, 2019
Four Paws

It is an Edwardian Christmas, and the Pennyfoot Hotel is all dressed up. But when one of the guests turns up dead, owner Cecily Sinclair Baxter realizes it is not only the Pennyfoot that is back in business—the hotel's Christmas curse is, too...

The Pennyfoot halls are decked with boughs of holly, a magnificently decorated tree graces the lobby, and the hotel's bookings are finally looking up. Owner of the Pennyfoot, Cecily Sinclair Baxter is in high holiday spirits until disaster strikes, threatening to ruin yet another Yuletide. Her chief housemaid Gertie McBride has found a man's body in the hotel laundry room—with a woman's scarf wrapped around his neck and a note in his pocket from the hotel's new maid.

Cecily is determined to track down the culprit, but with multiple suspects icing her out of crucial clues, she realizes this killer may be more slippery than most. With Christmas right around the corner, it is up to Cecily to prevent this holiday season at the Pennyfoot from turning out more fatal than festive.

Our first time reading this series, and while we're not big on the historicals, this one was very good!  People who enjoy historicals and mysteries will like this book for sure.

THE BODIES IN THE LIBRARY
A FIRST EDITION LIBRARY MYSTERY
MARTY WINGATE
BERKLEY; HARDCOVER
OCTOBER 8, 2019
FOUR PAWS





Hayley Burke's fresh start as the curator of The First Edition Society's library in Bath, England, is about to take a rotten turn in this charming new mystery series from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate.

Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling's former secretary.

Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley's ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight--an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House.

But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job. First in a new series. Four paws.

WIN ONE OF ROCCO'S REVIEW COPIES!!!!!!

Win one of ROCCO's review copies, selected at random by the big guy himself!  To enter, leave your name and email n our comments section. Winner will be chosen using random.org. for extra entries you can mention this blog and contest on Facebook and Twitter!  US entries only, please!  Contest ends October 20!


Thursday, September 5, 2019

ROCCO'S SEPTEMBER COZY REVIEWS!

It's time for ROCCO's September Cozy Reviews!

First up:

A NIGHT'S TAIL
A Magical Cats Mystery
Sofie Kelly
Hardcover; Berkley Prime Crime
September 3, 2019
Five Stars

The magic continues in Sofie Kelly's charming cozy series!

In the charming town of Mayville Heights, librarian Kathleen Paulson and her two cats pounce on clues to catch a killer, in the eleventh installment of this New York Times bestselling series.Spring is coming to Mayville Heights, and Kathleen’s brother, Ethan, has arrived in town with his band, The Flaming Gerbils. But not everything goes as scheduled when one of Ethan’s bandmates gets into a fight with a man interested in investing in the town. When the businessman’s body is later found, Ethan’s friend is implicated in the crime.

Kathleen wants to help her brother by solving the case, but she has no shortage of suspects from which to choose. Prior to his death, the investor was fighting like cats and dogs with lots of people. If this librarian wants more than a whisker’s chance of solving the case, she will need to rely on her trusty feline sidekicks, Owen and Hercules.

I love this series, and not just because of the cats, although they are a big draw!  I'm fond of Kathleen, her polceman boyfriend, and all the quirky characters in the town of Mayville Heights, which to  me is quickly becoming another Cabot Cove.  Devotees of this series will enjoy, as will new converts.  Five Paws.


WORD TO THE WISE
Library Lovers Mystery
Jenn McKinlay
September 3, 2019; Berkley Prime Crime; Hardcover
Four Stars


It's no-holds-barred murder, in the latest page-turning Library Lover's Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Hitting the Books.

Lindsey Norris is finally getting married to the man of her dreams—but it's not all roses for Briar Creek's beloved library director, as gardening enthusiast and town newcomer Aaron Grady gives the term “book lover” a whole new meaning. Inappropriate looks and unwelcome late-night visits to Lindsey's house have everyone from the crafternooners to Lindsey's fiancé, Sully, on edge. 

When Grady's dead body is found staged outside the library and all the clues point to Sully, Lindsey knows it's up to her to dig through the hidden chapters of Grady's previous life to find the real culprit and clear Sully's name. But becoming a thorn in the killer's side is not without its consequences, and the closer Lindsey gets to the truth, the more determined the murderer is to make her just a footnote


A "new to me" series but an old favorite for many others.  I enjoyed this cozy mystery and will definitely be picking up more in the series!  four paws!!!!


MRS. JEFFRIES AND THE ALMS OF THE ANGEL
A Victorian Mystery
Hardcover; Berkley Prime Crime
September 24, 2019
Emily Brightwell
four Stars



Mrs. Jeffries fans will be delighted with her newest adventure, which has her and Inspector Witherspoon joining forces to solve the murder of an active church member who, on the surface, appeared to be beloved by all.  When they dig deeper, however, things are not a they appear, and they soon find themselves with a plethora of suspects with motives for wanting the supposedly kindly woman dead.  another good entry in this long running series.  four stars


COOKIES AND CLAIRVOYANCE
A Magical Bakery Mystery
Bailey Cates
MM Paperback; Berkley Prime Crime
September 3, 2019
Four Stars




If you enjoy baking with a dash of the supernatural, this is the series for you!  Cates has created a wonderful world where baking and witchcraft combine, and she continues it in this eighth entry!

Hedgewitch Katie Lightfoot is juggling wedding preparations, a visit from her father, and home renovations on top of her long hours at the Honeybee Bakery, where she and her aunt Lucy imbue their yummy cookies and pastries with beneficial magic. But when firefighter Randy Post is accused of murdering a collector of rarities, and his prints are on the statue that was used to kill the man, Katie steps in. 

Randy is not only Katie's fiancé's coworker, but also the boyfriend of fellow spellbook club member and witch Bianca Devereaux. Bianca and Declan are both sure Randy is innocent, and so is Katie. However, to prove it she'll have to work with ornery detective Peter Quinn again—and this time around he knows she's more than your everyday baker.


SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT
A Year Round Christmas Mystery
Berkley Prime Crime
Vicki Delaney
August 27, 2019
Four and a half stars




Residents of Rudolph keep the spirit of Christmas alive year-round—but their joy is threatened when a group of grinches visits the town, in the charming fourth installment of the Year-Round Christmas series.

It's the week before Thanksgiving, and Merry Wilkinson, owner of Mrs. Claus's Treasures, is preparing for a weekend reunion of her mother's college friends. But when the group of women comes into Merry's shop, Merry is met with frosty attitudes and cold hearts. 

The women argue amongst themselves constantly, and the bickering only intensifies after one of the friends is poisoned. With her father's role as Santa in danger due to his proximity to the crime, Merry will need to use all of her investigative gifts to wrap this mystery up and save Santa and her favorite holiday.


What better, than to combine two of my favorite things, Christmas and mysteries?????  I have been a big fan of this series since the first book and this one is just as enjoyable.  A ROCCO recommend!


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