Sunday, January 9, 2022

Nick and Nora #5 Cover Reveal!

It's finally here....the cover for Nick and Nora Five, MURDER FAUX PAWS!  Honestly, we didn't think they could top Hiss H for Homicide but we think they have!!!!!

The book will be up shortly at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for pre-order.  Those ordering the e-book can get it for $3.99 if you order it before the release date of February 22!

And don't forget - sales and pre-orders are what make publishers extend writer's contracts and ask for more books!

Okay, drum roll is MURDER FAUX PAWS!

Thursday, January 6, 2022


Me-ow!  Here are my cozy reviews for January!

Starting the New Year off with:


 Cleo Coyle

A CoffeeHouse Mystery

Hardcover; Berkley; January 25, 2022

Five Stars/Paws

Clare Cosi is busy as a bee planning her honeymoon when murder buzzes into the Village Blend in this all-new mystery in the beloved New York Times best-selling Coffeehouse series.

While struggling to find a romantic (and affordable) destination for her upcoming honeymoon, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi whips up a honey of a drink made from honey-processed coffee. Clare plans to serve her outstanding new Honey-Cinnamon Latte at her spring wedding to her longtime honey, NYPD detective Mike Quinn. The culinary world is also abuzz about the amazing honey that Clare was lucky enough to source for her shop's new latte. Produced by Madame's old friend "Queen" Bea Hastings, the rare, prize-winning nectar from Bea's rooftop hives commands a premium price, and top chefs compete for a chance to use it in their signature seasonal dishes.

One night, a swarm of escaped bees blanket the Village Blend's chimney, and Clare discovers Bea's unconscious body after she seemingly fell from her high-rise rooftop-hive setup. The police want to rule it as a tragic accident or possible attempted suicide, but Clare does not believe either theory. To sort out this mystery, Clare investigates a world of cutthroat chefs, culinary start-ups, and competitive urban beekeepers. But can she uncover the truth without getting stung?

Clare Cosi is back in a new adventure after what seems to be a much too-long absence!  Love, love, Cleo Coyle's weaving of a spectacular  mystery, and as always, love Clare's sleuthing, and all the supporting characters.  A much beloved series, and we hope there is not another year and a half wait for the next instalment!  Five Paws!!!!!


An ice Cream Parlor Mystery

Trade Paperback; Berkley; January 4, 2022

Abby Collette

Four Paws

Ice cream shop owner Bronwyn Crewse is in for two scoops of murder in this charming mystery from Abby Collette.

Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is gorgeous in the fall, and Bronwyn Crewse, owner of Crewse Creamery, knows just how to welcome the new season. At the annual Harvest Time Festival, residents will get a chance to enjoy hot-air balloons and hayrides, crown a new Harvest Time Festival Queen, and eat delicious frozen treats sold at Win’s freshly purchased ice cream truck. But she gets into a sprinkle of trouble when a festivalgoer is poisoned and Win is implicated.

Although the victim was a former Harvest Time Festival Queen, her once-sunny disposition had dimmed into bitterness, leaving no shortage of suspects at the festival. To clear her name before the chill of winter sets in, Win will have to investigate and hope that her detective skills won’t “dessert” her.

Cozy mystery. Cats.  Ice Cream. Enough said. Four Paws!!!!!


Marty Wingate

1st Edition Library Mystery

Berkley/Hardcover/jan 4, 2022

Four Paws

When a mysterious stranger turns up making claims that threaten Lady Fowling’s legacy, Hayley Burke must dig deep into her late-benefactor’s history to uncover the truth and catch a conniving killer in this new mystery from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate.

It has been nearly a year since I took up my position as curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling’s collection of Golden Age of Mystery writers’ first editions at her library in Middlebank House. I have learned that I need to take the good with the bad. The good: I have finally convinced Mrs. Woolgar to open up the collection to the public one day a week so that they too can share in Lady Fowling’s passion. The bad: although he would not be my first, or even tenth, choice, at the insistence of the board Charles Henry Dill, Lady Fowling’s unscrupulous nephew, is now my personal assistant.

On one of our first days open to the public, Mr. John Aubrey shows up at Middlebank House and insists that Lady Georgiana Fowling is his grandmother. Mrs. Woolgar is scandalized by his claims, and Charles Henry, who feels he has been cheated out of his rightful inheritance as Lady Fowling’s heir, is furious. I do not know that I believe Mr. Aubrey, yet he has knowledge of Lady Fowling’s life and writings that few possess. To further complicate matters, an associate of Mr. Aubrey’s intends to help us uncover the truth of John’s story. But before he can do that, he is murdered and the police have reason to suspect Charles Henry.

As much as I would like to lock up Charles Henry and throw away the key, I cannot believe he is a killer. And I also know there is something dead wrong about Mr. Aubrey’s tales regarding his “grandmother” Lady Fowling. I will need to make sense of her past in order to suss out the true villain of this story.
An exciting additiion to this series!  You just have to admire Hayley's tenacity in folloiwng clues!  Would recommend anyone give it a try.  Four Paws.


Baker Katie Lightfoot needs a sprinkle of magic to solve a haunting mystery in the newest book in this New York Times bestselling series.

Hedgewitch Katie Lightfoot works at the Honeybee Bakery in Savannah, and she's always up for investigating her adopted home's rich supernatural history. That's why she's taking a ghost tour for the very first time. But when the psychic tour guide tells Katie that she's being followed by the ghost of a recently murdered woman, Katie realizes she met the victim earlier that day, just before she died. She knows she must bring the killer to justice.

And this murder isn't the only mystery Katie needs to solve. Her new husband, Declan McCarthy, is missing the guardian spirit who always watched over him, and she's concerned that Deck's life could be at risk if they can't find him. Under pressure from the living and the dead, Katie will have to use all of her magical skills to start an investigation from scratch and avoid half-baked alibis, because this baker kneads to find a killer.
This series combines two of my favorite things:  magic and baked goods! Bailey Cates is a master at this craft. This series continues to be - ahem - enchanting!  four and a half paws!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

ROCCO's December Cozy Reviews!


Here are my December Cozy Reviews!

City of Shadows

Victoria Thompson

A Counterfeit Lady Novel #5

Berkley; Hardcover; 12/7/21

Four stars

In this all-new Counterfeit Lady Novel from USA Today bestselling author Victoria Thompson newlywed Elizabeth Miles must use her unlawful skills  to expose a dangerous charlatan. 

Elizabeth Miles Bates has returned from her honeymoon with Gideon and is taking great pride in having completely forsaken her disreputable past.  Then her friend, Anna Vanderslice, begs her to use her talents to save her widowed mother from a unscrupulous medium. Since the war and the flu epidemic left so many families in mourning,  séances have come back into vogue as desperate families long to communicate with their loved ones. 

Anna's mother has been attending séances in hopes of connecting with her son, David, who died of influenza.  Anna had thought it a heartbreaking but harmless activity but she's just learned that Mrs. Vanderslice is paying the medium ever-increasing sums of money in her eagerness to make contact. Since David's death has already caused Anna and her mother financial hardship, Mrs. Vanderslice's obsession is in danger of ruining them.

Madame Ophelia is working with a group of con artists to fleece as many grieving New Yorkers as possible before moving on to another city. Several of Mrs. Vanderslice's friends, as well as some of Gideon's clients, have already been victims.  Elizabeth knows that simply exposing the medium as a fraud will not be enough to recoup the stolen money;  the only way is to con the medium and her cohorts. But will Elizabeth's family help her when it means betraying other con artists?  Elizabeth recruits Gideon, her aunt Cybil and her partner, Zelda to lend a hand. Can Elizabeth and her gang of amateurs fool the professionals?  Or will speaking to the dead lead to deadly consequences?
A good series for fans of both mystery and historical novels!  Four paws!

Stitched in Crime
Emmie Caldwell
A Craft Fair Knitter Mystery #2
Berkley; Paperback; 12/7/21
Four stars

When murder pierces the fabric of the close-knit Crandalsburg Craft Fair, it's up to the Ninth Street Knitters to make a killer slip their stitch.

The Craft Fair may have hit a few snags lately, but knitting enthusiast Lia Geiger is hopeful her quiet life will return to its usual patterns in no time. Her daughter has officially moved back home, and sure, the house is a little crowded with Hayley's take-home work from the alpaca farm, but that's a price Lia will happily pay. All seems well until Cori Littlefield, a new vendor with a gift for crochet, is found dead, sending shock waves through all of Crandalsburg.

What begins as a tragic accident turns into a snarled spool of lies that only the combined efforts of the Ninth Street Knitters can untangle. When Lia makes a connection between Cori's death and a decades-old murder, it's up to her to weave together the clues and find the truth.
Knitting mysteries are always very popular and this second in the series is an intriguing entry.  Four paws!

Pride, Prejudice and Peril
Katie Oliver
A Jane Austen Tea Society Mystery
Berkley; Paperback; 12/7/21
4 12 stars
Jane Austen meets reality TV and murder in this quirky cozy mystery—the first in a new series!

Phaedra Brighton is perfectly content with her life of lecturing college students, gossiping with her best friends, and dreaming of Mr. Darcy. As a young, respected (if somewhat peculiar) English professor, her expertise lies in all things Jane Austen—but she knows that the closest she'll ever get to being a real-life Elizabeth Bennet is in her dreams.

When Who Wants to Marry Mr. Darcy, a new reality TV show, starts filming at her best friend Charlene's estate, Phaedra is intrigued. And when the producer asks her to lend her Austenian knowledge as a consultant on the show, she's over the moon. But on the first day of filming, when Charlene's new husband is found electrocuted and Charlene herself is accused of the crime, Phaedra comes crashing back to reality.

With murder on the syllabus and her best friend in dire straits, there's no Mr. Darcy around to help Phaedra—she'll have to get to the bottom of this mystery herself.
This is an intriguing premise for a series, combining classic literature with reality TV.  Could anything be more opposite?  It works, though. Very different. Reminded me in a way of the Hallmark mystery series Murder 101. ROCCO recommended!  four and a half paws!

Absence of Mallets
Kate Carlisle
A Fixer Upper Mystery
Berkley/ Paperback/ 12/7/21
Five stars

Contractor Shannon Hammer steels her nerve to pin down a killer in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Premeditated Mortar. . . .

Shannon could not be happier that her hunky thriller-writing boyfriend, Mac, has moved in, and it is a good thing they are living together because they are both busier than ever. Mac is hosting writing retreats at his now vacant lighthouse mansion, while Shannon and her crew build Homefront, a quaint Victorian village of tiny homes for veterans in need. Mac’s latest guests are proving to be a handful though, and Shannon has heard some grumbling from the luminaries of Lighthouse Cove about her latest passion project. But nothing can throw a wrench in their plans except a malicious murder.

When one of Shannon’s new friends is found brutally bludgeoned with a mallet near the lighthouse on Mac’s property, the couple hammers out a suspect list and searches for a motive. As they drill deeper for clues, more violence strikes and a new victim winds up in a coma. The pressure is on, and Shannon and Mac will have to move fast to find an unhinged killer dead set on demolishing anyone who gets in their way. . . .

Another series that only improves with age.  Shannon is an erstwhile sleuth, ditto her significant other Mac, and we always enjoy seeing how she and Mac put the pieces together to come up with the killer.  Discovered this series after seeing the Hallmark movie! Five paws!!!!!!

Curse of Salem
Kay Hooper
A Bishop Special Crimes Unit Mystery
Four Stars

 New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper is back with a brand new thrilling paranormal suspense novel in the Bishop/Special Crimes Unit series.
The small town of Salem has been quiet for months—or so Bishop and his elite Special Crimes Unit believe.  But then Hollis Templeton and Diana Hayes receive a warning in Diana's eerie "gray time" between the world of the living and the realm of the dead that a twisted killer is stalking Salem, bent on destroying in the most bloody and horrifying way possible the five families that founded the town.
The stakes are high, especially for new friends Nellie Cavendish and Finn Deverell, both members of the Five, and this time Bishop and his wife Miranda will lead the team to hunt down a vicious killer and uncover a dark and ancient curse haunting Salem.

This is a bit darker than the usual cozy, but still an excellent read for paranormal and mystery fans!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

ROCCO's November Cozy Reviews!

Ma-Row!  Here are my November reviews for the latest Penguin cozy mysteries!

Up first:


Jenn McKinlay

Library Lover's Mystery

Hardcover - 11/2/21

Five stars

Spring has sprung in Briar Creek, but it is not all sunshine and roses, in the newest Library Lover's Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of One for the Books.

Spring is livening up Briar Creek after a long, cold winter, and newlyweds Lindsey and Sully could not be happier. Even though the upcoming mayoral election is getting heated, everything else in town is coming up daffodils...until a body is found.

Ms. Cole, a librarian and current candidate for town mayor, is shocked when she opens her trunk to discover a murder victim who just so happens to be a guy she dated forty years ago and the founder of the baking empire Nana's Cookies. As the town gossip mill turns, a batch of rumors begins to circulate about Ms. Cole's rebellious youth, which--along with being a murder suspect--threatens to ruin her life and her budding political career. But Ms. Cole is one tough cookie who will not go down without a fight.

Has the campaign for mayor turned deadly? It is up to Lindsey, Sully, and the rest of the crafternoon pals to see how the cookie crumbles and figure out who is trying to frame Ms. Cole for murder and why.

Thank goodness marriage has not dampened Lindsey and Sully's propensity for getting involved with murder!  This time out it's Ms. Cole aka the Lemon who needs thier help when she's a suspect in the murder of an ex-flame.  Hard to think of Ms. Cole with an ex-flame, but stranger things have happened.  You dont need to have read others in this series to enjoy this one, but it helps keep all the interesting characters straight.  Five paws!


A Murder she Wrote Mystery

Jessica Fletcher/Terrie Farley Moran


Four and a half paws!

When a local art shop owner is murdered, Jessica Fletcher is surprised to once again be working alongside her old friend MI-6 agent Michael Haggerty to solve the case in the newest mystery in this USA Today bestselling series.

When Nelson Penzell, co-owner of a local art and treasure store in Cabot Cove, is murdered, the nail tech from Jessica Fletcher's favorite beauty parlor is the main suspect. After all, she's the one who ran out of the store screaming, covered in blood, and holding the murder weapon. Jessica is positive that despite the circumstances, Coreen can't possibly be guilty, and is determined to prove it.

When Michael Haggerty, handsome MI-6 agent and Jessica's old friend, is caught snooping around the victim’s home, it's quickly apparent to her that she was right. Nelson has always had a bit of a reputation for being a rake, but Haggerty is sure his sins go far beyond what anyone in town imagined. If she wants to clear Coreen's name, Jessica will have to work alongside Michael to find out who killed Nelson—and maybe help bust a crime ring in the process.

Jessica goes back to the roots of the old series in this latest entry.  Fans of the show and the book series will enjoy seeing familiar characters in action and, of course, Jessica pulling the rabbit out of the hat to solve the crime!  Four and a half paws.

Doggone Deadly

Deborah Blake

Catskill Pet Rescue Mystery


Four Paws

Kari Stuart is roped into helping out at a dog show—but soon finds she’s bitten off more than she can chew when her best friend is framed for murder in this new Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery.

When the woman running the big regional dog show calls out sick, dog groomer Suz Holden is asked to take over. But it’s too much for her to handle by herself— considering the president of the kennel club, Olivia Weiner, criticizes her at every turn—so she calls in her best friend, Kari Stuart, for help.
A long, stressful day goes from bad to worse when a local breeder is found dead, and the murder weapon seems to incriminate Suz.

While Kari knows her friend isn’t guilty, the police aren’t so sure, especially after a second murder points to Suz again. But trying to run a dog show and investigate a murder at the same time is like herding cats, and Kari will have to rely on the rest of the Serenity Sanctuary staff to keep things running smoothly while she—and her beloved and clever kitten, Queenie—sniff out the truth.

Any mystery that has dogs and cats in it is a sure winner with us!  an enjoyable read. PLus the cover's cute!  Four paws!

An Eggnog to Die For

Amy Pershing

Cape Cod Foodie Mystery


Four Paws

Christmas is coming to Cape Cod, but when Sam Barnes finds a very dead Santa in a very hip restaurant, it’s up to her to sift out suspects who have been naughty vs. nice….

Professional foodie Samantha Barnes has a simple Christmas list: a quiet holiday at home with her dog and a certain handsome harbor master; no embarrassing viral videos; and no finding dead bodies. Unfortunately she’s got family visiting, she’s spending a lot of time in front of the camera, and she’s just stumbled over the lifeless body of the town’s Santa Claus.
Plus, Sam’s plans for Christmas Eve are getting complicated.  There’s the great eggnog debate among her very opinionated guests.  There’s the “all edible” Christmas tree to decorate.  And there’s her Feast of the Five Fishes prepare. Nonetheless, Sam finds herself once again in the role of sleuth. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa—but can she pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?

Food and mystery what could be more perfect?????  Sam is an engaging character and the holiday mystery is interesting!  I liked the "all edible" Christmas tree. Four paws.

Body and Soul Food

Books N Biscuits Mystery

Abby Collette

MMPB/Berkley/ 11/2/21

Four paws

In this page-turning new mystery series, fraternal twins Keaton and Koby will pull double duty when they take down a killer while preparing to open their new bookstore and soul-food café, Books & Biscuits.

When Koby Hill and Keaton Rutledge were orphaned at age two, they were separated, but their unbreakable connection lingered. Years later, they reunite and decide to make up for lost time and capitalize on their shared interests by opening up a well-stocked bookstore and cozy soul-food café in the quaint Pacific Northwest town of Timber Lake. But this new chapter of their lives could end on a cliffhanger after Koby's foster brother is found murdered.

The murder, which occurred in public between light-rail stops, seems impossible for the police to solve. But as Keaton and Koby know, two heads are always better than one, especially when it comes to mysteries. With just a week to go before the grand opening of their new café, the twins will use their revitalized connection with each other to make sure this is the killer's final page

Definitely a different twist on a cozy mystery!  Twins and a soul food cafe is a good premise and perfect setting for murder!  Looking forward to more.  Four paws!  

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

ROCCO interviews Terrie Farley Moran!


Recently the mantle of co-author of the popular MURDER SHE WROTE series was passed on to Terrie Farley Moran.  Many of you might remember her from co-authoring the Scrapbook Mystery series with Laura Childs!  The newest Jessica Fletcher mystery, DEBONAIR IN DEATH, releases today and we caught up with Terrie to find out her thoughts on continuing this popular series!

Hello Terrie!Meow!

1.      Tell us what your first thought was upon learning you were going to adopt the mantle of Jessica Fletcher's co-author!


Well let me describe the scene. I had no idea that there was any possibility of an opening for a new writer for the Murder, She Wrote series. If you recall the pandemic quarantine began in mid-March 2020. On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2020, I was singing and dancing to Irish music, baking soda bread and bemoaning that there were no parades. The phone rang and I answered, “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!” It was my agent who asked if I would be interested in writing the next few books in the Murder, She Wrote series. Before she could even outline the details of the project I shouted a resounding “YES”. Kim Lionetti is an excellent agent, so although I kept shouting things like, “I want to do this” and “I love Murder, She Wrote” Kim made me listen to all the dreary contract details and

discuss pros and cons. Still, as a fan of Jessica Fletcher since the first episode of the television show in 1984, not to mention I’d read most of the books, some more than once, I was overjoyed at being asked. So I guess you could say I was pretty darn happy! First thought: I can do this!



2.      How would you compare writing the Murder She Wrote Series to others that you've done? Easier?  Harder?  More challenging?


Continuing the Murder, She Wrote series is a huge challenge precisely because it has had such a long, successful life. There are more than two hundred fifty television episodes which are still broadcast around the world every single day. Fifty-two books were written in the series before I came on board. Since some of the early books were written while Murder, She Wrote was still on prime time television, the books are not successors of the television series and as the book were published there have been some character changes. For example, in the books, Sam Booth is no longer the mayor of Cabot Cove. He has been replaced by a man named Jim Shevlin and Jim’s wife, Susan is now the town travel agent, replacing Phyllis Grant who we knew as one of the “girls” at Loretta’s Beauty Parlor. In the television show Sheriff Metzger had a “never actually seen but often mentioned” wife named Adele, but somewhere along the line in the books they got divorced and he is now married to Maureen who is often present when a story line is in Cabot Cove.  So, I have to be extremely careful to keep my facts and people straight. I would hate to write a character as one of Jessica’s pals in a book only to find that person was the murderer or the murder victim in a book written some time ago. (Think back to the tv shows--Preston Giles!) The other significant issue from a writer’s perspective is that in the television episodes there are many scenes where Jessica is not present but the viewer sees what happens. Jessica may or may not learn about those events later on in the episode. However, the books are written in first person so Jessica either has to see what happens or someone has to tell her what they witnessed. The reader can only know what Jessica knows.


3.      Could you tell us what the future might hold for Jessica and her friends?

Certainly! Jessica will have adventures! Hmm, you want a little more? Okay. MURDER, SHE WROTE DEBONAIR IN DEATH (release date November 5, 2021) is set in Cabot Cove. So, we get to hang out with Doctor Seth Hazlitt, Sheriff Mort Metzger and the girls in Loretta’s Beauty Parlor. The big surprise is that British secret agent Michael Haggerty shows up! And then what? I can’t say any more about that but I can tell you that in MURDER, SHE WROTE KILLER ON THE COURT (release date May 17, 2022) Jessica will be at Rockaway Beach in New York City along with Grady, Donna and their son Frank, named for Jessica’s late husband. Oh and if you haven’t read MURDER, SHE WROTE KILLING IN A KOI POND, which was released this past June, the good news is, that it is now available in mass market paperback, so you can read how Jessica fairs when she visits an old college friend in Columbia, South Carolina. As you can see, Jessica Fletcher sure gets around, and we all know what happens wherever she goes.



4.      You also co-author the Scrapbooking series with Laura Childs. Will you be continuing to do that and if so, can you give us a preview of what might be coming up for Carmela and her beau, Edgar?

Our publisher would like us to continue with the New Orleans Scrapbooking series. Laura and I have talked about trying to find the time to write the next book. However, we are each writing multiple books a year so time is a problem. Even if we were scheduled to write a book in the near future, I couldn’t tell you anything about it. Carmela, Edgar, (and let’s not forget Ava) are Laura’s characters and I never talk about what they might be up to until the book is on the editor’s desk because Laura is the lead on plot and character development.


5.      Below are ROCCO's Fast Five.  Don't take time to think, just answer with the first thing that comes to your mind!  and thank you for the interview!


a.      What is your favorite part of the day?


Evening as day turns to dusk and dusk turns to dark.


b.      What food do you wish were calorie free?

Ice cream, especially with candy or cookies scattered in it.


c.      How do you clear your head after a bad day?


Talk or text with one of my children or grandchildren about their day!


d.      What smell takes you back to your childhood?

Laundry drying outdoors.


e.      Who would make you starstruck?

Angela Lansbury! Of course!


Rocco, thank you so much for inviting me! I loved all the questions, especially the Fast Five. And if it isn’t too much of an imposition, would you please tell Toni I said hello!!

ROCCO:  Done, Terrie! Toni says hello back and thank you!!!!!

For the next MSW release, I will interview the one and only Jessica Fletcher!  Watch for that in 2022!  I will review this book in my November post next week.

About the author(s)

Jessica Fletcher is a bestselling mystery writer who has a knack for stumbling upon real-life mysteries in her various travels.

Terrie Farley Moran is thrilled to be co-author, along with Jessica Fletcher, of the long running Murder, She Wrote series. She has also written the beachside Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series and is co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans scrapbooking mysteries. Terrie is a recipient of both the Agatha and Derringer awards. Learn more online at


Penguin Publishing has consented to give away a  hardcover copy of DEBONAIR IN DEATH  to one of our lucky commenters!  To enter, just leave a comment in our comments section telling us what your favorite episode of MURDER SHE WROTE was!!!!  (Mine:  the Headless Horseman from season 4)

Don't forget to leave your email address so we can contact the winner!  US entries only please!

Contest ends midnight, November 12.


Tuesday, October 12, 2021




Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley, are catering a Victorian Christmas party at a swanky mansion in downtown Charleston. Drucilla Heyward, the hostess, is one of the wealthiest women in town.

As the champagne flows and the tea steeps, Drucilla is so pleased with the reception by her partygoers that she reveals her secret plan to Theodosia. The Grande Dame has brought the cream of Charleston society together to reveal that she is planning to give her wealth away to various charitable organizations. However, before she can make the announcement, Theodosia finds her crumpled unconscious in the hallway. It looks like the excitement has gotten to the elderly woman--except that there is a syringe sticking out of her neck.

Once again Theodosia Browning and her 'posse', Drayton and Haley, are on the job!  Theo attacks the case with her usual aplomb. Drayton seems like an unwilling helper at times, but we all know deep down he loves to help Theo with her sleuthing!  Theodosia's latest  beaux, Detective Riley, is pretty much absent in this one, but never fear!  Theodosia has Bert Tidwell front and center to keep her on her toes! (and I confess, I've missed Tidwell)   Not certain how much longer that romance between Theo and Riley will go on, though, because he doesn't seem very supportive of her sleuthing! Time will tell.  Longtime fans will not be disappointed and new readers can pick this adventure up without having read any previous, but we highly recommend you do so!  Five paws!!!!!!!


Laura will give away a signed copy of TWISTED TEA CHRISTMAS to one lucky commenter!  To enter, leave your name and email address in our comments section, along with 'what's your favorite holiday?.  ROCCO's brother Maxx will select one winner at random.  US entries only please. Contest ends mdnight, October 17.

Friday, October 8, 2021

ROCCO's October Cozy Reviews!

Merow, here are my October cozies!

We'll start off with a brief look at a favorite. We'll take a closer look at this one in a separate post next week!






An attack on the host of a fancy tea party sends Theodosia Browning looking for answers in the latest entry in the New York Times bestselling series.

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley, are catering a Victorian Christmas party at a swanky mansion in downtown Charleston. Drucilla Heyward, the hostess, is one of the wealthiest women in town.

As the champagne flows and the tea steeps, Drucilla is so pleased with the reception by her partygoers that she reveals her secret plan to Theodosia. The Grande Dame has brought the cream of Charleston society together to reveal that she is planning to give her wealth away to various charitable organizations. However, before she can make the announcement, Theodosia finds her crumpled unconscious in the hallway. It looks like the

excitement has gotten to the elderly woman--except that there is a syringe sticking out of her neck.



A Brooklyn Murder Mystery

Trade PB; Berkley; October 5th

Four Paws

Amateur sleuth Odessa Dean is about to discover the only thing harder than finding her way out of an escape room is finding an affordable apartment in Brooklyn in this sequel to Killer Content.

Odessa Dean has made a home of Brooklyn. She has a fun job waiting tables at Untapped Books & Café and a new friend, Izzy, to explore the city with. When she's invited on a girls' day out escape room adventure, she jumps at the chance. It's all fun and games until the lights come on and they discover one of the girls bludgeoned to death...

The only possible suspects are Odessa and the four other players that were locked in the escape room with the victim. She refuses to believe that one of them is responsible for the murder, despite what the clues indicate. In between shifts at the café, Odessa splits her time interviewing the murder suspects, updating the bookstore's social media accounts, and searching for the impossible--an affordable apartment in Brooklyn.

But crime--and criminally high rent--waits for no woman. Can Odessa clear her and Izzy’s names before the police decide they're guilty?

A good follow up to the first in the series.  We are curious to see if Odessa finds that apartment!!!!  four paws.






When Parker Valentine decides to take a weekend getaway with her boyfriend Reid, a ski trip seems like the perfect choice. Between hitting the slopes and persuading the resort's wine director to sell her mulled wine, Parker is eager to mix business with pleasure. But her plans are muddled when she finds the resort owner's body on a treacherous portion of ski trail near the resort.

As a result, not only is Parker's romantic weekend thrown into chaos, but now that the owner has died, her business deal is due for a frosty reception, and her life might be in danger as well. After a series of unfortunate mishaps befall Parker, she realizes that whoever killed the resort owner might want to tie up loose ends. Parker's going to need all of the investigative skills at her disposal to catch a killer before they put her on ice.

An interesting plot and a spunky heroine. Who could ask for more?  Except maybe more books LOL.  4 1/2 paws.






For four hundred years, the Warren witches have used their magic to quietly help the citizens of the sleepy New England town of Evenfall thrive. There's never been a problem they couldn't handle. But then Constance Graves--a local known for being argumentative and demanding--dies while staying at the bed and breakfast Brynn Warren maintains with her aunts. At first, it seems like an accident...but it soon becomes clear that there's something more sinister at work, and Aunt Nora is shaping up to be the prime suspect.

There's nothing Brynn wants more than to prove Nora's innocence, and it hurts her to know that even two years ago that might have been easier. Brynn, after all, is a witch of the dead--a witch who can commune with ghosts. Ghosts never remember much about their deaths, but Constance might remember something about her life that would help crack the case. But Brynn hasn't used her powers since her husband died, and isn't even sure she still can. Brynn will just have to hope that her aunts' magic and her own investigative skills will lead her to answers--and maybe back to the gift she once thought herself ready to give up forever.

A good start to what looks like an interesting series. Then again, we've always been a sucker for the supernatural, witches in particular!  Four paws! 


Royal Spyness Mystery

Rhys Bowen

HC/Berkley/Oct 5, 2021

Four Paws!

Georgie is excited for her first Christmas as a married woman in her lovely new home. She suggests to her dashing husband, Darcy, that they have a little house party, but when Darcy receives a letter from his aunt Ermintrude, there is an abrupt change in plans. She has moved to a house on the edge of the Sandringham estate, near the royal family, and wants to invite Darcy and his new bride for Christmas. Aunt Ermintrude hints that the queen would like Georgie nearby. Georgie had not known that Aunt Ermintrude was a former lady-in-waiting and close confidante of her royal highness. The letter is therefore almost a royal request, so Georgie, Darcy, and their Christmas guests: Mummy, Grandad, Fig, and Binky all head to Sandringham.

Georgie soon learns that the notorious Mrs. Simpson, mistress to the Prince of Wales, will also be in attendance. It is now crystal clear to Georgie that the Queen expects her to do a bit of spying. There is tension in the air from the get-go, and when Georgie pays a visit to the queen, she learns that there is more to her request than just some simple eavesdropping. There have been a couple of strange accidents at the estate recently. Two gentlemen of the royal household have died in mysterious circumstances and another has been shot by mistake during a hunt. Georgie begins to suspect that a member of the royal family is the real target but her investigation will put her new husband and love of her life, Darcy, in the crosshairs of a killer.

Fans of this long running series will not be disappointed as Georgie puts on her sleuthing cap again!  We admit we are not fond of period mysteries but this one is an exception. Four paws.