Friday, May 14, 2021

ROCCO reviews "Peaches and Schemes" (and Anna Gerard does our Fast Five!)

meow!  Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Anna Gerard's third instalment in her Georgia B&B Series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES!

In Anna Gerard's third delightful Georgia B&B mystery, Nina Fleet learns that despite the satin, lace, and buttercream trappings, weddings often prove to be anything but sweet...

Nina Fleet might be new to the innkeeping business, but she's savvy enough to know that Cymbeline's tourists aren't enough to keep her fledgling bed and breakfast going. And so, Nina decides to tap into the destination wedding market by taking a booth at the Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo. The twice-yearly event is sponsored by the town's two wedding pros: Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie's Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner and Nina's new friend. But everything goes wrong during the expo's fashion show, when Roxanna comes tumbling out of an oversized prop wedding cake, strangled to death by her own scarf.

Virgie is arrested for the crime, thanks to Nina's statement to the police about having overheard the woman accusing her partner of embezzlement. Meanwhile, the situation grows tense with her sometimes nemesis and current tenant, the dashing out-of-work actor Harry Westcott. Harry is concentrating on plugging his most recent side hustle ...but he's not too busy to break the news to Nina that her ex-husband is engaged to be married again.

Certain that Virgie's only offense is a bad temper, Nina decides to do her own investigating. First, however, she and Harry retrieve Roxanna's now ownerless dog, planning to foster him until a new home can be found. But local gossip soon convinces Nina that others beside Virgie might have had reason to murder Roxanna. As Nina gets close to the truth, she's putting her own life at danger. And when Virgie vanishes after being bailed out of jail by an unknown benefactor, Nina fears that if she can't find the dress shop owner in time, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning for them both.

So what is there  not to like about this series?  I've been a fan of the author's other series (Black Cat Bookshop, written as Ali Brandon) and thoroughly enjoy this one.  I do enjoy the interaction between Nina and Harry (what a rogue!) and I do hope the series continues so there might possibly be a chance of a romance between these two!!!!!!!!!!  an excellent series!  If you haven't tried it yet, highly recommend.  Five paws up! (and both ROCCO and Maxx approved!)

And now.....

ROCCO'S FAST FIVE! with Anna Gerard!


·        Cats and Dogs are featured prominently in your books.  Are any of them modeled after your own pets? 

Of course! Brandon Bobtail and Ophelia in my Tarot Cats Mysteries are based on my own kitties, Brandon and Ophelia. Like their characters, they are sibling black cats although real life Brandon—who also has half a tail—is far snarkier than his literary namesake. As for Mattie the Aussie in my Georgia B&B Mystery series, she is based on a combination of two dearly departed Aussie pups of mine…Oliver and Matilda. Mattie was the smartest dog I’ve ever known, but not the friendliest to outsiders. Oliver was a big fluff head who was everyone’s friend. Together they make the ideal dog, who is my amateur sleuth Nina Fleet’s Mattie.


·        What was your favorite childhood book or series?

            I started out young with mysteries as I cut my reading “teeth” on the Bobbsey Twins. From there, any book with magic (particularly all the Edgar Eager and Zilpha Keatley Snyder books) were always on my library checkout list.


·        How do you relax after a stressful day?

Relax? What’s that? If I’m lucky after the day job and all the home chores and (hopefully) a bit of writing. I usually veg out in bed watching old sitcoms.


·        What is your favorite movie quote? 

“They’re coming to get you, Barbara!”


·        What's something that's always in your fridge?

Diet Coke (and ice cream in the freezer!).

Thank you, Anna!

Folks you can find out all about new releases at the author's website:

Also, visit to enter a giveaway to win free books!

ROCCO and I will giveaway a signed copy of the MMPB of  PURR M FOR MURDER to the first person who correctly identifies Diane's movie quote!   Put your guesses in our comments section below!  ends midnight, May 15.

Friday, May 7, 2021

ROCCO's May Cozy Reviews!

Meow!  It's time for my May Cozy Reviews:


Mia P. Manansala

A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery

Trade Paperback/Berkley

Release date: 5/4/21

Four 1/2 stars

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer....

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

a good first entry in what appears to be a promising series!


A cupcake bakery mystery


Berkley MMPB

Release date: 5/4/21

4 1/2 stars

Life is sweet and business is booming at the Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery—and the fact that Mel and Joe are getting married is the icing on the cake. Their reception will be held at the swanky resort where Oz works as the pastry chef. The wedding planning is all fun-fetti and games until Mel and Joe meet the head chef at the resort who has been making Oz's life miserable. When the eccentric chef insults Mel's bakery, Oz gets into a blowout argument with the culinary prima donna. 

Things turn extra sour when the chef is murdered, and Oz is the police's main suspect. As the countdown to the wedding day begins, Mel, Joe, and the rest of the Fairy Tale Cupcake crew must sift through clues to catch the real killer and clear Oz's name before their wedding plans are totally battered and baked.

This is the thirteenth entry in this popular series, which shows no evidence of running out of steam!  A four and a half paw tail!!!!!!



A Haunted Bookshop Mystery

MMPB - Berkley

Release date - 5/4/21

Four 1/2 Paws



Bookshop owner Penelope Thornton-McClure and her gumshoe ghost team up to solve the stunning mystery at the heart of a madwoman’s self-portrait in this all new installment from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.
While gathering a collection of vintage book cover paintings for a special event in her quaint Rhode Island bookshop, Penelope discovers a spooky portrait of a beautiful woman, one who supposedly went mad, according to town gossip. Seymour, the local mailman, falls in love with the haunting image and buys the picture, refusing to part with it, even as fatal accidents befall those around it. Is the canvas cursed? Or is something more sinister at work?
For answers, Pen turns to an otherworldly source: Jack Shepard, PI. Back in the 1940s, Jack cracked a case of a killer cover artist, and (to Pen’s relief) his spirit is willing to help her solve this mystery, even if he and his license did expire decades ago.

We are big fans of Cleo's Coffee house mysteries, and this series is quickly becoming another favorite!  We are also big paranormal fans, so anything combining cozy and paranormal is #1 with  us!  4 1/2 paws.

The Diva Serves Forbidden Fruit

Domestic Diva Mystery Series

Krista Davis

Kensington; Hardcover

May 25, 2021

4 1/2 Stars

he latest Domestic Diva mystery from New York Times bestselling author, Krista Davis, entertaining maven Sophie Winston must cut to the core of another murder investigation when members of an international tour group begin dropping like flies all over Old Town, Virginia . . .
With Old Town’s DIY Home Decorating Festival in full swing, Sophie’s swamped, juggling a bumper crop of artisans, antique dealers, and decorators for the busy street fair. Still, when her best friend Nina suddenly needs a ride from the airport, Sophie is happy to help . . . until she sees Nina disembarking in a state of disarray. It’s obvious the trip to Portugal soured somewhere along the way. But after one of Nina’s traveling companions turns up murdered the following day, Sophie knows something is truly rotten . . .
Though the crime scene is staged to look like an accident, Sophie isn’t fooled and peels off to conduct her own investigation. Her only clue is a strange image the victim scratched into the soil before dying. Could it point to a cryptic killer in Old Town? A bitter travel adversary? Or a cursed artifact smuggled back from the trip? As the mystery grows, so does the body count, and if Sophie doesn’t pluck the murderer soon, her best friend may be the next to fall . . .

One of our favorite series, and Sophie and Natasha are two of our favorite divas!  So glad kensington picked up this series.  4 1/2 paws!!!!