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!


Win one of ROCCO's review copies!

Brother Maxx will choose one at random; to enter, leave your name and email address in our comments section. For extra entries, mentoin the contest and this blog on Facebook and Twitter!  One winner will be selected at random.  US ENTRIES ONLY, PLEASE.  Contest ends midnight, September 21.

Friday, August 9, 2019

ROCCO'S AUGUST COZI REVIEWS!!!!!!

Marow!  Here are my reviews for August!!!!!


SINGAPORE SAPPHIRE
A Harriet Gordon Mystery
A.M. Stuart
Berkley - Trade Paperback
August 6, 2019
Four and a half stars

Singapore, 1910--Desperate for a fresh start, Harriet Gordon finds herself living with her brother, a reverend and headmaster of a school for boys, in Singapore at the height of colonial rule. Hoping to gain some financial independence, she advertises her services as a personal secretary. It is unfortunate that she should discover her first client, Sir Oswald Newbold--explorer, mine magnate and president of the exclusive Explorers and Geographers Club--dead with a knife in his throat.

When Inspector Robert Curran is put on the case, he realizes that he has an unusual witness in Harriet. Harriet's keen eye for detail and strong sense of duty interests him, as does her distrust of the police and her traumatic past, which she is at pains to keep secret from the gossips of Singapore society.

When another body is dragged from the canal, Harriet feels compelled to help with the case. She and Curran are soon drawn into a murderous web of treachery and deceit and find themselves face-to-face with a ruthless cabal that has no qualms about killing again to protect its secrets.


THE PINT OF NO RETURN (Paperback edition)
A SLOANE KRAUS MYSTERY
ELLIE ALEXANDER
ST. MARTIN'S
AUGUST 2019
FOUR AND A HALF STARS

This is the first of thie series that I've read and I was impressed - particualarly if  you are intereted in knowing about beer, and how it's made, becasue Alexander puts  a lot of background into the book, along with a msytery!


Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause returns in The Pint of No Return, another delightful cozy by Ellie Alexander―this time investigating a movie star who's murdered not long after arriving in Leavenworth, WA to film his latest project.
No other festival compares to Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington. The whole town is buzzing with excitement over this year’s activities and eagerly awaiting Nitro’s latest offering Cherrywizen, made with locally sourced cherries. But local brewmaster Sloan Krause is tapped out. Between trying to manage the pub, her pending divorce with Mac, and her mounting feelings for Garrett, she’s fermenting in internal turmoil.

To complicate matters, dreamy movie star Mitchell Morgan and his production crew have arrived in the village to film during the authentic Bavarian brewfest. Mitchell has his eye on Sloan and a taste for Nitro’s Cherrywizen. Sloan escapes his advances for good when she finds Mitchell slumped over the bar. Is this a case of one pint too many, or has Mitchell been murdered by microbrew?




A KILLER EDITION
A booktown mystery
Lorna Barrett
Berkley 
August 13, 2019
four and a half stars

With her assistant, Pixie, picking up more responsibility around the shop, Tricia Miles suddenly has a lot more time on her hands. Tricia decides to join the local animal-rescue board and enter the Great Stoneham Bake-Off, but neither pans out as smoothly as she’d hoped.

Balancing a bake-off that’s heating up with a frosty reception from the board, Tricia stops by Joyce Whitman’s romance bookstore looking for a book to get her fired up. She stumbles on something hot, but it’s an argument between Joyce and her neighbor Vera Olson instead of a steamy read. When Vera turns up dead in Joyce’s garden hours later, Tricia has to wonder—could Joyce be the killer? Or is the culprit still lurking in town?

One thing is for sure, someone in Stoneham is stirring up something more sinister than sweet. Tricia is determined to win the cutthroat cooking contest, but first she will have to make sure no one else is in danger of getting burned....

Another tried and true sereis that never seems to run out of steam...or murders.

my first time reading htis series and Iloved it.  will be picking up the others now.  :)


LOVE AND DEATH AMONG THE CHEETAHS
A ROYAL SPYNESS MYSTERY
BERKLEY
RHYS BROWN
AUGUST 6, 2019
FOUR AND A HALF STARS

Georgie and Darcy are finally on their honeymoon in Kenya's Happy Valley, but murder crashes the party in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series.

Georgie is excited when Darcy announced out of the blue that they are flying to Kenya for an extended honeymoon. Once there, though, Georgie suspects her husband has been sent on a secret mission. 
Once there Darcy confides to his wife there have been a series of robberies, and it seems the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya. Since we are staying in the Happy Valley—the center of upper-class English life—they are well positioned to hunt for clues and ferret out possible suspects.

When Lord Charlton, who made advances to Georgie, is found bloodied and lifeless along a lonely stretch of road, it appears he fell victim to a lion. But it seems that the Happy Valley community wants to close the case a bit too quickly. Darcy and Georgie soon discover that there is much more than a simple robbery and an animal attack to contend with here in Kenya. Nearly everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead and some will go to great lengths to silence anyone who asks too many questions. The hunt is on! Can Georgie and Darcy survive thier honeymoon long enough to catch a killer. . . .

Rhys Bowen does not disappoint, as usual. Fans of hte series will love.

DEATH IN A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY
a HUNGARIAN TEA HOUSE MSYTERY
JULIA BUCKLEY
BERKLEY JULY 27, 2019
FOUR STARS

Hana Keller serves up European-style cakes and teas in her family-owned tea house, but when a customer keels over from a poisoned cuppa, Hana and her tea-leaf reading grandmother will have to help catch a killer in the first Hungarian Tea House Mystery from Julia Buckley.

Hana Keller and her family run Maggie's Tea House, an establishment heavily influenced by the family's Hungarian heritage and specializing in a European-style traditional tea service. But one of the shop's largest draws is Hana's eccentric grandmother, Juliana, renowned for her ability to read the future in the leaves at the bottom of customers' cups. Lately, however, her readings have become alarmingly ominous and seemingly related to old Hungarian legends...

When a guest is poisoned at a tea event, Juliana’s dire predictions appear to have come true. Things are brought to a boil when Hana’s beloved  Anna Weatherley butterfly teacup becomes the center of the murder investigation as it carried the poisoned tea. The cup is claimed as evidence by a handsome police detective, and the pretty Tea House is suddenly endangered.  Hana and her family must catch the killer to save their business and bring the beautiful Budapest Butterfly back home where it belongs.

Good start to a promising new series!


THE TIME FOR MURDER IS MEOW
T. C. LOTEMPIO
MIDNIGHT INK
PURR N BARK PET SHOP MYSTERY
AUGUST 8, 2019

Cannot review this one - as it is the human's!!!!!!  but I can post a reminder here about it and the cover and urge you to follow her blog tour to hear reviews!!!!1
 https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/upcoming-great-escapes-book-tours/the-time-for-murder-is-meow-a-purr-n-bark-pet-shop-mystery-by-t-c-lotempio/




WIN  ONE OF ROCCO'S REVIEW COPIES!!!

This month, we will be giivng away two copies!  one of SINGAPORE SAPPHIRE and one of DEATH N A BUDAPEST BUTTERFLY!  Winners of each book will be chosen at random by random.org

to enter, leave your name and email address in our comments sectin below!!!!  Tell us which book you would prefer.  US entries only, please. :)  for extra entries, mention this blog and contest on Facebook and Twitter!

Contest ends midnight, August 19!

Friday, July 26, 2019

ROCCO welcomes Anna Gerard aka Diane A.S. Stuckart!






Welcome, Anna!  Tell us a little about your background

  I’m Anna Gerard a/k/a Ali Brandon (the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries) and Diane A.S. Stuckart  (the Tarot Cat Mystery Series and the Leonardo da Vinci Mystery series) and Alexa Smart (from back in my historical romance days!). I’ve been writing and publishing since the 1990s and am pretty much known as a Cozy Mystery writer these days.

Tell us a bit about your latest book
  PEACH CLOBBERED is the first in my new Georgia B&B Mystery series from Crooked Lane Books. It’s set in the fictional town of Cymbeline, south and west of Savannah. My amateur sleuth, Nina Fleet (pronounced NINE-ah) is recently single and new to Cymbeline, where she impulsively purchased a 3-story Queen Anne home with the proceeds from her divorce. Life should be peachy for her, but things (like murder) are putting a crimp in her new Bed and Breakfast venture. And then there’s that actor, Harry Westcott. He’s the grand-nephew of Fleet House’s previous owner and claims the house was supposed to have been willed to him. And he’s not letting the place go without a fight.

How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
 I get to know them like I get to know any real-life people I meet, by hanging out with them over time and learning how they tick. I don’t create full-blown bios for my characters until I’ve been writing about them for a while.

How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
 I’m a pantser at the beginning of my book but in the last 1/3 to 1/4 I do start informally outlining to make sure I have hit all the plot points and wrapped up all the necessary details.

Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
 Depends on the genre of the book but, in general, strong characters can save a weak plot. A great plot is less great if the characters are cardboard.

What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
 I’m putting the final touches on PEACHY SCREAM, book 2 in the Georgia B&B series. I’m going to be self-publishing a couple of small projects and then it’s on to GBB book 3.

What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
 I work a full-time day job and have lots of other commitments, so I squeeze in writing on my lunch hour and after work and the weekends (I’ve tried getting up at 5AM to write but, nope!).

What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
 Be willing to put in the work. No great book was ever dashed off in one draft. And once you’re published, be smart about what you dig in your heels about as far as changing or cutting your manuscript. If you protest every comma that’s cut, it will be harder to keep the things that really mean something to you.

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  Day
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)  Both (I’m bi-petual!)
Beach or Pool?   Beach
Steak or salad?  Salad
Favorite Drink?  Diet Coke
Favorite Book?   Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
Favorite TV Series?  Currently, Ink Master
Favorite Movie?  Bowfinger
Favorite Actor:   Michael Caine
Favorite Actress:  Helen Mirren
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada?  Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska?  Hawaii
Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Leonardo da Vinci
If I had just one wish, it would be World peace!  Kidding…but, actually, it would be world tolerance and commonsense. 
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be  one of my dogs or cats because they live great lives.






Thursday, July 11, 2019

ROCCO'S JULY COZY REVIEWS!

Ma-Row! time to review the July cozies!

THE PAWFUL TRUTH
A Cat in the Stacks Mystery
Miranda James
Berkley Prime Crime
July 16, 2019
Five Stars


This is another exciting insalment in the Cat in the Stacks mystery series featuring librarian Charlie Harris and his cat,Diesel.

Charlie has enrolled in  an early medieval history course offered by young, charismatic professor Carey Warriner. Charlie feels a bit out of place- his fellow classmates are half his age- except for Dixie Bell Compton, another ‘mature’ student. When Charlie hears an angry exchange between her and their professor, his interest in piqued. He’s even more intrigued when she shows up at his office asking for a study partner. Charlie turns her down and is saddened to learn just a few days later that Dixie has been killed.

 Charlie wonders if Professor Warriner had anything to do with Dixie’s death. Warriner is married to a fellow professor who happens to be a successful author. There are rumors on campus that their marriage was on the rocks. Was Dixie's death the result of a lovers’ triangle gone bad? Charlie soon discovers that the professor’s wife may have some secrets of her own and his suspect list is only getting longer. 
  
As he and Diesel step further into the tangled web of relationships, someone else is viciously killed. Whose jealousy finally erupted into murderous rage? Was it a crime of passion or is there another  more sinister motive? Charlie  races to unravel this mystery: and to draw out the culprit, he may just have to put his own life on the line…

James does not disappoint and fans will enjoy solving the crime along with Charlie and Diesel. A defiite five paws!!!

NEEDLED TO DEATH
A Helping Hands Mystery
Annelise Ryan
Kensington
July 30, 2019
Four and a half paws




As a colleague of deputy coroner Mattie Winston, social worker Clothilde “Hildy” Schneider is no stranger to unsolved murders at Sorenson General Hospital. Except this time, it’s up to her to crack the case . . . 

Motivated by her own difficult past, Hildy has an unparalleled commitment to supporting troubled clients through grief and addiction in Sorenson, Wisconsin. But when a distraught group therapy member reveals disturbing details about her late son’s potential murder, Hildy goes from dedicated mental health professional to in-over-her-head amateur sleuth . . .

Alongside her loyal therapy Golden Retriever, Hildy stumbles through incriminating clues—and an unlikely partnership with Detective Bob Richmond, the irresistibly headstrong cop who shares her passion for helping others. With signs of foul play surfacing all over town, can Hildy and Detective Richmond pinpoint the deadly traits of a sharp-witted killer before another seat gets filled at grief therapy?

this looks like a good series. Recommend.

BEWITCHED AND BETHROTHED
A Witchcraft Mystery
Berkley Prime Crime
june 25, 2019
Juliet Blackwell
Five Paws



When Lily Ivory stumbles on the uniform of a former prisoner from Alcatraz and SFPD inspector Carlos Romero’s cousin is kidnapped, Lily suspects something dangerous has been unleashed on the ghost-ridden island of Alcatraz. She'll have to sleuth out the culprit—when she’s not busy entertaining her visiting relatives and resolving romantic conflicts as her wedding date approaches. Could recent omens be pointing to the magical threat in her adopted city? If so, she'll have to line up her allies to change the fate of the Bay Area. Because no matter what, Lily's determined to celebrate her marriage with her friends by her side—even if it means battling a demonic foe before she can make it to the altar.

Fans of this longtime series will not be disappointed as Lily juggles sleuthing with wedding planning.  Juliet Blackwell remains one of my favorite authors.  A definite five paws!  If you are looking for a good cozy and arealso a fan of things supernatural I highly recommend this series.


BOOKING THE CROOK
Bookmobile Cat Mystery
Laurie Cass
Berkley Prime Crime
July 2, 2019

Five Paws!




Minnie, everyone's favorite librarian and her mystery loving cat Eddie are back for another adventure!

Minnie Hamilton and her rescue cat, Eddie, cruise around lovely Chilson, Michigan delivering happiness and good reads in their bookmobile. But the feisty librarian is worried that the bookmobile's future could be uncertain when a new library board chair arrives and doesn't seem too friendly to her pet project. 

Still, she has to put her personal worries aside when she and Eddie are out on their regular route and one of their favorite customers doesn't turn up to collect her books. Minnie, at Eddie's prodding, checks on the woman and finds her lying dead in her snow-covered driveway. Now it's up to Minnie and her friends--feline and otherwise--to find the perpetrator and give them their due.

always enjoyable watching Minnie and Eddie figure out whodunit.  I liked that Minnie is ending up with Rafe, they seem suited to each other!  Another five paw mystery for July!



AND THEN THERE WERE CRUMBS
A Cookie House Mystery
Eve Calder
St. Marltin's.
July 30, 2019
Four and a half paws



FIRST IN A NEW SERIES!  She’s a talented pastry chef―with a secret recipe for solving crimes…
WELCOME TO THE COOKIE HOUSE
Kate McGuire’s life was sweet in Manhattan before she lost her restaurant job and fiancé both. But sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, and soon she finds herself starting from scratch in the island town of Coral Cay, Florida. It has everything she’s looking for: sunny beaches, friendly locals, and a Help Wanted sign in the bakery shop window. Once she convinces the shop’s crusty owner Sam Hepplewhite to hire her, Kate can’t tie on her apron fast enough. Little does she know that trouble, like warm dough, is on the rise. . .
WHERE CRIMINALS GET THEIR JUST DESSERTS
Stewart Lord is a real estate developer with a taste for a different type of dough: the green kind. He knows that he could make a killing by purchasing the Cookie House from Sam, who flat-out refuses to sell. But when Stewart turns up the heat on Sam―then turns up dead after eating a fresh batch of Sam’s cinnamon rolls―all eyes focus on the town’s beloved bakery. When the police arrest Sam for murder, Kate must somehow prove that her curmudgeonly boss is innocent. Enlisting the help of a team of lovable locals, Kate sets out to catch the real culprit with his hand in the cookie jar…before someone else gets burned.

This seems like an excellent debut and definitely one to watch!  After all, who doens't like a mystery involivng food?????



LET'S FAKE A DEAL
A SARA W GARAGE SALE MYSTERY
KENSINGTON
JULY 30, 2019
FOUR PAWS

As a former military spouse, Sarah Winston’s learned a little about organizing, packing, and moving. Her latest project sounds promising: a couple of tech-industry hipsters, newly arrived in her Massachusetts town, who need to downsize. Unfortunately, when Sarah tries to sell their stuff, she discovers it’s all stolen—and she’s the unwitting fence.

BUT SARAH’S PROBLEMS ARE JUST BEGINNING
Michelle, an old friend of Sarah’s from the Air Force base, is in line for a promotion—but not everyone is happy about it, and she’s been hit with an anonymous discrimination complaint. When one of the men she suspects is behind the accusations turns up dead in Michelle’s car, Sarah needs to clear Michelle’s name—as well as her own for selling hot merchandise. And she’ll have to do it while also organizing a cat lady’s gigantic collection of feline memorabilia, or they’ll be making room for Sarah in a jail cell . . .

Another entertaining series!  And since we've lost the Garage Sale Mysteries on Hallmark, this is an engaging substitute. Four Paws.


WIN ONE OF ROCCO'S REVIEW COPIES!

Leave your name and emall address in our comments section for a chance to win one of ROCCO's review copies.  Brother Maxx will select one of these books at random, and random.org will select the lucky winner.  For extra chances to win, mention our blog and this contest on Facebook and Twitter!
Contest closes midnight, July 20!