Friday, December 7, 2018

ROCCO's December Cozies!

It's time for my December cozy reviews!

First up....

A Cackleberry Club Mystery
Berkley Prime Crime
Laura Childs
December 4, 2018
Five Stars!

The women of the Cackleberry Club are back in this holiday themed mystery!  When the Ghost of Christmas Past stabs Ebenezer Scrooge during a dress rehearsal for the Kindred PLayers production of "A Christmas Carol", it spurs Suzanne into action. Even though the crusty attorney playing Scrooge wasn't the most popular man in town, it's still a shock, especially to Suzanne, who ends up chasing the murderer out of the building but loses him in the alley.  Suzanne, Toni and company find they have an increasingly long list of suspects:  the attorney's disgruntled partner?  the former secretary whom the attorney harassed? or Toni's husband Junior?  Laura Childs weaves a tangled web that readers will delight in unfolding!  Love this series! Five paws!

A Victoria Square Mystery
Lorraine Bartlett/Gayle Leeson
Berkley Prime Crime
November 27, 2018
four stars

It's Christmastime, but not everyone is jolly--especially not Vonne Barnett. Her dead body has been found in Victoria Square. Katie Bonner, the manager of Artisan's Alley, happens to be at the tea shop Vonne's mother, Francine, owns when the news is delivered. 

Vonne left a trail of men behind her so the suspects are many--but the clues are few. A broken teacup leads Katie to one of the suspects, but before she can investigate, she's attacked. Katie may be closing in on a murderer, but time is ticking because the murderer is definitely closing in on her.   A big fan of BArtlett's novels, and this one is excellent!  Four stars

An Amish Mystery
Laura Bradford
Berkley Prime Crime
November 27, 2018
Four Stars

Another fine entry in this series by one of my favorite authors!

Claire Weatherly and her beau, police detective Jakob Fisher, learn that when it comes to murder, evil can hide in plain sight in this all-new addition to the national bestselling Amish Mysteries.

Jakob and Claire have been enjoying more time together in lovely Heavenly, PA. With Claire's help, the detective is making slow progress reconnecting with the members of his Amish family who shunned him when he left to pursue a career in law enforcement. Jakob's mentor, Russ Granger, the long-retired police chief who inspired him to become a cop, is back in town. Claire has always wanted to meet the man who changed the course of Jakob's life. But not long after he arrives in Heavenly, Russ is murdered. 

Jakob can only imagine that his old friend must have been killed by someone outside of the Amish community. He and Claire soon find that things are not as they seem--and that Russ may have stumbled into something sinister before he was killed. The answers they uncover are closer to home and more shocking than they ever expected.  Four Stars!

Witch Cats of Cambridge
Clea Simon
Polis Books
December 11, 2018
Four 1/2 paws!

As a longtime fan of both cats and paranormal, I was anxious to read A Spell of Murder.  It has all the ingredients i like in a mystery: cats, a touch of the paranormal and a little romance!

Newly single Becca wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power. And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working. Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder?  Think Charmed comes to Cabot Cove and you've got it!
Four 1/2 stars!

A bakeshop mystery
Ellie Alexander
St. Martin's Paperbacks
December 31, 2018
4 1/2 stars

I love this series by Ellie Alexander.  I'm always ready for another adventure with baker Jules Capshaw! 

The heat is on for pastry chef, family business operator, and unlikely sleuth Jules Capshaw. Just when she thought she could enjoy some time away from the kitchen, Jules manages to discover a skull during a picnic by the lake. As if unearthing remains that may be connected to a missing-persons case from the 1960s isn’t enough on her plate, Jules must contend with the unsolved matter of her own marriage while her estranged husband Carlos sails the open seas, awaiting a verdict. Then there’s Jules’s bitter landlord Edgar, who is intent on making a sweet deal on a vacant lot down the block from Torte―until he turns up dead. If only Jules could find a recipe that would let her bake her cake and eat it, too…

Loved the latest instalment and fans of this series will too.  Four 1/2 stars!

A Sarah Blair Mystery
Debra Goldstein
December 18, 2018
four 1/2 stars

A new series that combines some things I love, namely food and cats!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty‑eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired hometown she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant . . .

Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!

An excellent start to a promising new series!  Four 1/2 stars!

You could win ROCCO's review copy of Yule be Dead!

To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

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Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! US entries only please! Contest closes midnight, 12/15/18


  1. That's a particularly fine looking cat on the cover of One Taste Too Many. (For a non[=tuxedo, of course, Rocco.)
    We are FB friends and I've linked this to my page
    I visit regularly
    I don't tweet or have a blog
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  2. Wonderful books!
    I follow you on Facebook and Twitter and friended you on Facebook. I also follow your blog.
    Thank you for giving away the book.

  3. What a great bunch of new books and terrific covers! I follow on FB and follow the blog via email. Happy Holidays!

  4. Lots of good ones here. It will be hard to choose which one to read first.
    Jana - turtle6422 at gmail dot com
    Following your blog
    Following you on Twitter
    Friends on Facebook
    Mentioned the contest on Facebook

  5. Thank you for highlighting more good books, ROCCO! Marla: mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

  6. Lots of great new books! Looking forward to reading all of them. Thanks for the chance.
    Rocco, following your blog and on Twitter. We are friends on Facebook and shared on Facebook and Twitter.

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