Sunday, March 1, 2020


Merow!  Since the human will be offsite in Arizona most of the month, we wanted to get the cozy reviews in early!!!!!!!

A Tuscan Cooking School Mystery
Stephanie Cole
Berkley Mass Market Paperback
On sale 2/25/20
Four Stars

An American chef will have to serve up more than good eats if she wants to establish a successful farm-to-table cooking school in Tuscany, in this charming first installment in a new cozy mystery series set in Italy. 

When Nell Valenti is offered a chance to move to Tuscany to help transform an aging villa into a farm-to-table cooking school, she eagerly accepts. After all, both her job and her love life in America have been feeling stale. Plus, she'll get the chance to work under the acclaimed Italian Chef Claudio Orlandini.

But Nell gets more than she bargained for when she arrives. With only a day to go until the launch dinner for the cooking school, the villa is in shambles, and Chef O is blissfully oblivious of the work that needs to be done before a group of local dignitaries arrive, along with a filmmaker sent to showcase and advertise the new school. The situation only worsens when Nell discovers that the filmmaker is an ex-boyfriend, and he’s found murdered later that night. Even worse, Chef O has disappeared, and accusations of murder could shut the school down for good.

As tensions reach a boiling point at the villa, Nell must throw her chef's hat into the ring, and investigate the murder herself. Because if she fails to solve the case, her career, or even her life, could be next on the chopping block.  If you are a cooking fan, this one's for you.

Julia Buckley
Writer's Apprentice Mystery
Berkley Mass Market Paperback
On sale 2/25/20
Four Stars

Fifth in the Writer's Apprentice series!

Writer's apprentice Lena London is enjoying life in Blue Lake and being newly engaged, but is soon drawn into the terrifying disappearance of one of her closest friends....

Lena is starting to feel like having it all may actually be possible! She and suspense novelist Camilla Graham are busily plotting their next novel and she's got a brand-new diamond ring on her finger thanks to her fiancé, Sam West. The only blot on her Blue Lake life is a strange new corporation that has come to town called Plastisource. They seem to be intent on gobbling up prime real estate and changing the landscape of Lena's lovely adopted home.

When she and Sam get a call from their good friend (and Blue Lake detective) Doug saying that his girlfriend--and Lena's pal Belinda--isn't answering her phone and missed a date with him, they all head out to her home. The trio is shocked to discover that Belinda's purse and phone are at her house, along with a single red rose on her countertop--but Belinda herself is missing. Has she been abucted? Could the strange new corporation play a role in her disappearance? Lena is determined to find out and rescue her friend because she knows that the truth can be stranger and much more deadly than fiction....

A Sassy Cat Mystery
Jennifer J. Chow
Berkley Prime Crime
On Sale 3/3/20
Four and 1/2 Stars

Mimi Lee is in over her head. There's her new Los Angeles pet grooming shop to run, her matchmaking mother to thwart, her talking cat Marshmallow to tend to—oh, and the murder of a local breeder to if only Mimi hadn't landed herself on top of the suspect list. 

Mimi Lee hoped to give Los Angeles animal lovers something to talk about with her pet grooming shop, Hollywoof. She never imagined that the first cat she said hello to would talk back or be quite so, well, catty—especially about those disastrous dates Mimi's mother keeps setting up. 

When Marshmallow exposes local breeder Russ Nolan for mistreating Chihuahuas, Mimi steals some of her cat's attitude to tell Russ off. The next day the police show up at Hollywoof. Russ has been found dead, and Mimi's shouting match with him has secured her top billing as the main suspect. 

Hoping to clear her name and save the pups Russ left behind, Mimi enlists help from her dreamy lawyer neighbor Josh. But even with Josh on board, it'll take Mimi and Marshmallow a lot of sleuthing and more than a little sass to get back to the pet-grooming life—and off the murder scene.

Knit and Nibble Mystery
Peggy Ehrhardt
Kensington, MMP
March 31, 2020
Four Stars

Pamela Paterson and her Knit and Nibble club must clear the name of one of their knitters when he's accused of murdering the mayor . . .

The trees in Arborville, New Jersey, have started sporting sweaters. Part of the trend of public knitting art? Not exactly. An anonymous activist has been wrapping trunks in yarn to cover red X's that mark certain trees for removal by the town so they don't interfere with power lines. When the town's mayor—who supports cutting down the trees—is murdered, Pamela wonders if the tree hugger committed homicide to prevent arborcide. A knitter is arrested, but it's one of Knit and Nibble's own—the harmless Roland DeCamp, who was seen arguing with the mayor. Pamela is sure the police are barking up the wrong tree. With the help of her reporter friend Bettina, she branches off on her own investigation to root out the real killer . . .

ON SALE 3/3/20

Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. When gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Theodosia worries if she's made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

Who can resist Theodosia!  One of the best yet.  Watch for an in-depth review and giveaway on our Celebrate Spring March 20th blog!

Want to win one of ROCCO's review copies?  Leave your name and email address in our comments section.  Winner will be selected at random March 19.


  1. These all sound so good and I can't wait to get started on them!

  2. I love a cozy read and these all sound great.

    Mary P

  3. These all look wonderful. Thank you, ROCCO! Marla: mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

  4. ROCCO, thank for the entry! I especially love the cover of Lavender and Blue Murder. Tell your human safe travels! Tari H, barbie 17 (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. Rocco, as fine collection, as always.
    I want to know more about Mimi and Marshmallow!
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  6. Thanks for the info on the new releases, Rocco! They all look amazing. Thanks for the chance.

  7. These all sound fun. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Jana turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  8. What a great list of books especially the one by Laura Childs!

  9. Thanks as always for the great reviews, Rocco! I hope you and Maxx and the human have safe travels to Arizona! I will look forward to reading about your new adventures! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Another stack of books to add to my TBR. Thanks for the review. And I hope you are as happy in your retirement as I am in mine! Safe travels and thanks for the giveaway.

  11. I have put those on my reading list; thank you! I would be so pleased to read the ARC!

  12. Wow Rocco you have picked some great books for this month where spring is sprung thank you ptclayton2 @ aol,.com peggu clayton

  13. The cover art in these books is really enticing.