Friday, August 11, 2017

ROCCO's August Cozy Review Roundup

ROCCO’S AUGUST ROUNDUP! (courtesy of Night Owl)
The latest in cozy mysteries from Berkley!

·       Series: A Costume Shop Mystery (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (August 1, 2017)
  • ROCCO’s Rating:  Four Paws!

Costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn faces a deadly conspiracy when a small-town festival turns into big-time trouble.

It’s no secret around Proper City, Nevada, that the Sagebrush Festival, the town’s annual family-friendly event, is the place to be. This year’s theme of board games has everything from Conspiracy to Clue. Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, has been tasked with providing costumes for the festival headliner, the Domino Divas. But on the night of the performance, one fallen Domino threatens to bring down the whole show when head dancer Ronnie Cass is found in her dressing room, unmasked, unprepared, and very, very dead. 
As the police investigate, Margo learns that Don Digby, her father's best friend, is the prime suspect, tied to the victim by an unsolved robbery connected to Proper City’s past. As conspiracies abound and theories are debunked, Margo seeks to unmask the real killer before her dad's buddy winds up in a costume made with prison stripes.
Diane Vallere continues the suspense in the third instalment of her costume shop mystery series.  I thought the festival was a  nice touch and as always, there is an appropriately quirky cast of characters.  Fans of this series and Vallere in general will not be disappointed! Four Paws!

Chime and Punishment (A Clock Shop Mystery #3) 
  • Series: A Clock Shop Mystery (Book 3)
  • Chime and Punishment
  • Julianne Holmes
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (August 1, 2017)
  • ROCCO’s rating: Four Paws!
Expert clockmaker Ruth Clagan has another murder on her hands in the third Clock Shop Mystery from the author of Clock and Dagger.

Years ago, the serenity of picturesque Orchard, Massachusetts, was shattered by a fire that destroyed the town's beloved clock tower. Ruth inherited the dream of repairing it from her late grandfather. Now that she’s returned home to run his clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, she’s determined to make it happen, despite wrenches that are being thrown into the works by her least favorite person, town manager Kim Gray.

A crowd of residents and visitors are excited to see the progress of the tower at a fund-raiser for the campaign, until Kim is found crushed under the tower’s bell, putting an end to all the fun. The list of suspects is so long it could be read around the clock, and it includes some of Ruth’s nearest and dearest.

This series is a fun one and I sincerely hope more are in store.  The story is well paced and I wasn’t too sad to see this particular villain go!  A definite four paws!

 Product Details

  • Series: A Yarn Retreat Mystery (Book 5)
  • A Tangled Yarn
  • Betty Hechtman
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (August 1, 2017)
  • ROCCO’s rating:  Four Paws

Casey Feldstein has her hands full with preparations at the Vista Del Mar hotel on the scenic Monterey Peninsula as another yarn retreat begins. The retreaters will be thrown for a loop this time, learning the trendy art of arm knitting and finger crocheting.  

But not everyone is enthusiastic about trying something new, and Casey is forced to come up with an alternative craft for her less adventurous pupils. Things go from worst to worsted when a travel writer from a neighboring retreat group is found dead in his room among a sea of feathers. When one of the owners of Vista Del Mar pleads for help, Casey gets hooked into the case and must unravel a delicate skein of secrets to catch a killer.
Book 5 in the series does not disappoint!  Fans of Casey will cheer as she goes about looking into the death of a travel writer at the hotel. That girl just cant turn down a plea for help!  Full of knitting tips, too. A fun read.  Four Paws!

 Product Details
·        Series: A Merry Muffin Mystery (Book 5)
·        Muffin to Fear
·        Victoria Hamilton
·        Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
·        Publisher: Berkley (July 25, 2017)

In the latest from the national bestselling author of Much Ado About Muffin, newlywed baker Merry Wynter has some unwanted guests looking for ghosts at Wynter Castle…

While Merry is distracted by her quickly planned marriage to Virgil Grace and a blissful honeymoon in New York, her friend Pish invites the ghost-hunting crew from the TV show Haunt Hunt to investigate Merry's home, Wynter Castle. Merry soon discovers that not only is the crew out of sync, there are so many feuds and squabbles, it's a miracle they get a show produced at all. 

It all goes from bad to worse when the show's psychics claim to have contact with people murdered on Merry's property. When two cast members are found dead, Merry and Virgil must figure out who’s picking off the Haunt Hunt team before their hard-earned happily ever after is cut short.
Fans of Merry will love her latest adventure.  As a big paranormal fan, I was enthralled with the plot myself!  Readers will enjoy trying to figure out who’s sabotaging the Haunt Hunt team!  A definite must read!  Four Paws!

·        Series: A Royal Spyness Mystery (Book 11)
·        On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service
·        Rhys Bowen
·        Hardcover: 304 pages
·        Publisher: Berkley (August 1, 2017)

In the new Royal Spyness Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Crowned and Dangerous, Lady Georgiana Rannoch juggles secret missions from the Queen, Darcy, and her mother. But it’s all in a day’s work when you’re thirty-fifth in line to the British Crown. 

When Darcy runs off on another secret assignment, I am left to figure out how to travel to Italy sans maid and chaperone to help my dear friend Belinda, as she awaits the birth of her baby alone. An opportunity presents itself in a most unexpected way—my cousin the queen is in need of a spy to attend a house party in the Italian lake country. The Prince of Wales and the dreadful Mrs. Simpson have been invited, and Her Majesty is anxious to thwart a possible secret wedding.  

What luck! A chance to see Belinda and please the queen as I seek her permission to relinquish my claim to the throne so I can marry Darcy. Only that’s as far as my good fortune takes me. I soon discover that Mummy is attending the villa party and she has her own secret task for me. Then, Darcy shows up and tells me that the fate of a world on the brink of war could very well depend on what I overhear at dinner! I shouldn’t be all that surprised when one of my fellow guests is murdered and my Italian holiday becomes a nightmare...
I have to confess I’m not big on period mysteries but this series could change my mind.  This was my first experience reading Rhys Bowen and now I do want to try more!  Well plotted and and an excellent read!  Four Paws!

Leave your email address in our comments section to win one of these books, donated by Penguin and chosen at random by ROCCO!


  1. Thank you, ROCCO, for your reviews. All these books sound fabulous!

  2. All of these books sound amazing. Really enjoyed your re views, Rocco. Thanks for the chance.

  3. All of the books look fabulous. Very helpful thank you.

    (I do like period mysteries.)


  4. Some great titles to read! Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. What great books this month. Thank you for your insight into each of them. My list of books to read has grown for sure. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  6. Thank you ROCCO, they all look fab! barbie17(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. 4 of these 5 titles are on my to be read list! Thank you for the chance to win one of them

    johnna smith

  8. I've read the first book in Diane Vallere's Costume Shop series. Really enjoyed it. I think I'll enjoy these as well.

  9. Great giveaway! I would love to win!!!

  10. Wonderful collection. I've read the Rhys Bowen story--marvelous as always.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  11. ROCCO, I just wanted to let you and your mom know that I received my book this week that I won in this giveaway. Thank you so much again! I definitely didn't have that one yet (A Tangled Yarn) :)