Thursday, June 14, 2018

ROCCO's Cozy Review Roundup for JUNE

  • Series: Bibliophile Mystery (Book 12)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (June 26, 2018)

Brooklyn has it all covered. She’s triple-checked her wedding to-do list, and everything is on track for the upcoming ceremony with the love of her life, security expert Derek Stone. 

Not everyone has been as lucky in love as Brooklyn. Her old college roommates Heather and Sara lost touch twelve years ago when Sara stole Heather’s boyfriend. Brooklyn was caught in the middle and hasn’t seen her former besties since their falling-out. When they both show up at her surprise bridal shower, Brooklyn is sure drama will ensue. But she’s touched when the women seem willing to sort out their differences and gift her rare copies of The Three Musketeers and The Red Fairy Book. 

Brooklyn’s prewedding calm is shattered when one of her formerly feuding friends is found murdered and Brooklyn determines that one of the rare books is a forgery. She can’t help but wonder if the victim played a part in this fraud, or if she was targeted because she discovered the scam. With a killer and con artist on the loose, Brooklyn and Derek—with the unsolicited help of their meddling mothers—must catch the culprit before their big day turns into a big mess.

Fans of this series will not be disappointed. Carlisle has crafted in ingenious plot and it's fun to see the characters work through the clues to find the culprit.  You don't have to be a fan of this series to enjoy the book, but it helps! Four and a half paws, only because I figured out the killer early on.

JUNE 5, 2018

Brooklyn's future in-laws are traveling from England to meet her, and if that's not enough to set her on edge, rumors abound that the charming Courtyard Shops across the street may be replaced by high-rise apartments. Their trendy neighborhood will be ruined unless Brooklyn and her fiancé, Derek Stone, can persuade the shopkeepers not to sell.
But with a rare edition of Alice in Wonderland causing bad blood at the Brothers Bookshop and a string of petty vandalism making everyone nervous, Brooklyn and Derek feel overwhelmed. Then the owner of the Rabbit Hole juice bar is felled by his own heavy shelves, and the local cobbler lies dead beside him. Things get curiouser and curiouser when a second priceless copy of Alice is discovered. 
As the Brits descend, Brooklyn learns they're not so stuffy after all. Derek's dad is won over with chocolate cream pie, and his psychic mum would kill to help Brooklyn solve this murder--before another victim takes a tumble.

always love a Brooklyn and Derek adventure, and Brooklyn is in rare form in this adventure.  Also loved the interaction between Brooklyn and her in-laws.  Another great series by Kate Carlisle that one never tires of, so when is the  Hallmark movie? Four stars.

Peg Cochran
  • Series: Farmer's Daughter Mystery (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (June 5, 2018)
  • Rating:  Four Stars 

  • Wedding preparations are in full swing at Love Blossom Farm as food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald transforms the property for her friend Kelly's down-home country-style reception. But when the lead singer of the wedding band turns up dead--drowned in a trough full of rainwater and strung up like a scarecrow--the police round themselves up a barnful of suspects. 

    It seems that Travis sowed the seeds of discord wherever he went, and when it becomes clear that everyone from the groom to Shelby's own staff has motive, tracking down Travis' killer is going to be more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack. As Shelby finds herself drawn deeper into the investigation, she'll have to move quickly before the killer decides to put her out to pasture...

A delightful mystery with engaging characters and a good plot.  Shelby is an engaging sleuth and I enjoy watching her unearth clues. The country setting is a refreshing change as well. four stars.

Booktown Mystery
Lorna Barrett
June 5, 2018
Four Stars

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time.  

But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?  

From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.

Another fine entry in this very entertaining series. The characters - and mysteries - continue to improve with age, like a fine wine.  Four Stars

4 ½ Stars
ROCCO LoTempio

By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment—a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition—she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.
When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery—there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

Who doesn’t love a Krista Davis mystery. I’ve been a big fan of her other two series and am delighted that she’s found another home at Kensington.  This series is shaping up to be just as good as the other two, if the first volume is any indication.  For coloring fanatics, the “color me” covers are a plus!  Four and a half paws.

·        Series: Domestic Diva (Book 1)
·        Hardcover: 352 pages
·        Publisher: Kensington (May 29, 2018)
·        Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Domestic diva Sophie Winston can whip up an elaborate event in her sleep, but as the hippest hostess she rarely gets to enjoy the full guest treatment. Which is why her best friend Nina Reid Norwood loops her in to the latest culinary craze: a pop-up gourmet dinner party. The celebrity chef, the epicurean menu, and the high-profile attendees are all a surprise, turning the decadent dining experience into the hottest ticket in Old Town. But Sophie’s just pleased as punch that she finally has an opportunity to join her fellow foodies in some fun.
The posh party proves to be a recipe for disaster when Hollis Haberman sours spirits by bringing his own hot new dish—his young trophy wife. With Hollis’s son and ex-wife in attendance, there may be more heat at the table than in the kitchen. But by aperitifs, Sophie discovers Hollis swallowing his last bits of air, and she must scramble to stop a killer before the swanky supper becomes anyone else’s last meal.

The Domestic Diva is back!  It says “Book 1” on Amazon but longtime fans know that this is about the twelfth entry in Davis’ Domestic Diva series which was cancelled by Penguin last year. Thank God Kensington resurrected it!  I personally cannot get enough of Sophie Winston, domestic diva, and her quirky cast of characters!  Reading this was like coming home again.  Here’s to more books in this well-loved series!  Four and a half paws!

Victoria Laurie
June 5, 2018
Four Stars

Professional psychic and FBI consultant Abby Cooper is about to face a murder scene that will put all her powers to the test. Her husband, Dutch, has a side business providing security and building panic rooms for wealthy clients. One morning, one of Dutch's partners, Dave, goes missing...

Then two of Dutch's clients are found brutally murdered inside their brand-new panic room, and most of the evidence points to Dave as the killer. With the authorities racing to find and arrest him, Abby's got to use all her intuitive prowess to get to Dave first, discover the real killer, and save her husband's business. This is one case where Abby is positive there's far more to this mystery than meets her inner eye...

Abby Cooper is still gong strong!  I have loved this series from the start and i thought Abby and Dutch gettng married might be "jumping the shark" but not where Laurie is concerned. She still manages to keep Abby and her adventures exciting. This series is edgier than the normal cozy, and that's a good thing.  Four stars!

Random Hit!
One lucky commenter will win ROCCO's choice of either BOUGHT THE FARM, A PANICKED PREMINITION, OR ONCE UPON A SPINE.

This month, ROCCO will  have his brother MAXX choose the giveaway review copy! Which one will Maxie choose?   

To enter, leave your name, email address and comment on which book you think Maxxie  will pick!  (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck!  contest ends midnight, June 19!


  1. Since books and cats go together Maxxie will chose Once Upon a Spine. Follow blog, FB friend.

  2. I will say BOUGHT THE FARM.

    Follow blog & friend on FB

    Mary Preston

  3. I think it will be BOUGHT THE FARM.

    I follow your blog and we are FB friends.

    Sally Schmidt


  4. I see Once Upon a Spine in Maxx's future.
    We are FB friends and I've linked this to my page
    I visit regularly
    I don't tweet or have a blog

  5. I think Maxx will choose "Once Upon a Spine".
    Rocco, I follow your blog and on Twitter, we are friends on Facebook. Shared on Facebook and Twitter.

  6. Maxx looks pretty devious there, so I think he'd choose Bought the Farm and then terrorize as many of the farm animals as he could. Marla Bradeen:

  7. I think Maxx will choose Once Upon A Spine. I follow your blog through email and we are facebook friends. Thanks for the giveaway, and for giving Maxx some time in the spotlight! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. I think it will be Bought the Farm.
    Following your blog
    Following on Twitter
    Tweet about the contest
    Friends on Facebook
    Mentioned the contest on Facebook

  9. Maxx will pick Once Upon a Spine. * Follow blog
    * Follow on Twitter
    * Tweeted contest:
    * Follow on Facebook
    * Shared on Facebook:

    Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  12. I think Maxx will draw once upon a spine follow blog follow email follow friends always when i see one of yours i share on fb and love your to read your comments! I know this says expired but i thought i would try anyway since i didn;t see a winner.