Sunday, May 21, 2023


Spotlight on new release:






Cattail Island in the Outer Banks is a popular destination for honeymooners and nature lovers alike. So it is a huge blow when the murder of a newlywed grinds the pre-summer season to a screeching halt. Bookseller Callie Padget launches her own investigation, after mysterious customer Geri-Lynn Humfeld, caretaker of the island’s protected wild horses, brings in an irresistible piece of information.

Determined to restore order and safety to her beloved hometown, Callie searches for answers—even as those answers cast suspicion on her soon-to-be boyfriend, Toby Dodge, whose martial arts studio was the scene of the crime. As she digs deeper, Toby becomes the police’s prime suspect. The truth raises troubling questions and sends her scouring the bookshop’s shelves for guidance.

Meanwhile, a well-loved member of the mustang herd—a pregnant mare whose anticipated foal is a symbol of summery hope for locals and visitors alike—may be facing dire circumstances. With help from Geri-Lynn, Callie unearths startling secrets surrounding not only the compromised mare, but the murdered newlywed, too. And when another body shows up, this time on isolated Mustang Beach, she must race against time to stop a killer from claiming any more innocent lives.

A fast paced mystery that readers will enjoy.  I am always partial to those that are set in a bookshop!  Callie is a combination of the best of Jessica Fletcher and Nancy Drew!  Four Stars

Win a copy of Murder on Mustang Beach!

Berkley has donated a hard copy for giveaway! To enter, leave your name and e-mail address in our comments section. Winner will be chosen via  US entries only please. Contest ends midnight, May 26.

Friday, May 12, 2023

ROCCO spotlights and reviews new Berkley cozy titles for may!






 A stray dog leads bookseller Penelope McClure and her gumshoe ghost on a chase for a clever killer in this brand-new entry in the "utterly charming" (Mystery Scene) Haunted Bookshop Mysteries from New York Times bestselling author Cleo Coyle.

Pet Mystery Week brings brisk business to Penelope's Rhode Island bookshop, but a real mystery comes barking at her door when a lost dog turns up in a panic. Pen and her son Spencer follow the furry fugitive to a wooded area where the dog's owner lies unconscious. Mrs. Cunningham is a warm-hearted widow who volunteers at the animal shelter and runs Buy the Book's pet lovers book club. Why would anyone shoot such a sweet soul?

The police believe it's an accident, a shot by a careless deer hunter, but Pen remains skeptical. To straighten out this doggone mess, she whistles for the ghost of PI Jack Shepard, an expert in hounding as well as haunting. Jack has a dog story of his own, a case from the 1940s that may help Pen sniff out clues to her present predicament. Yet even with Jack's hard-boiled help, Pen may not be able to stop the killer from striking again or letting this whole case go to the dogs . .

ROCCO SEZ:    WE love cleo Coyle's coffeehouse mysteries and now we also love the haunted bookshop! of course, it would have been nice if the title were the ghost goes to the cats but you can't have everythng merow!  Another well-plotted mystery that fans and newbies to the series will enjoy.  Five paws.




MAY 2, 2023


Contractor Shannon Hammer’s new project, renovating an old church, reveals some old sins when a body is found on the premises in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times author Kate Carlisle.

While Shannon Hammer is thrilled to attend the premiere of the movie based on her boyfriend Mac’s latest book, she can’t wait to trade her killer heels for work boots and start her next renovation project in Lighthouse Cove: a quaint Victorian church that has seen better days. And will see them again—as a museum—if Shannon, her talented crew, and her sister Chloe have anything to say about it.

But on the first day of demolition, work comes to a screeching halt when they stumble on the body of a beautiful young woman in one of the chapels. Who killed the assistant art director? Suspects crawl out of the woodwork as fast as Shannon can restore it. The church is hiding a century of secrets from the days that smugglers wreaked havoc on the California coast. But it’s a more recent secret that someone killed to protect. Shannon and Mac will use every tool in their toolbox to nail down the truth before any more lives are sacrificed.

ROCCO SEZ:  We became a fan of this series after seeing the Hallmark movie adaptation.  Once again, Shannon Hammer (appropriately named) finds herself caught up in a puzzling mystery as she begins her next renovation project!  We love the Shannon and Mac team! Five paws!!!!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2023


May 2 marks the debut of a new series from our friend E.J. Copperman (Haunted Guesthouse, Jersey Girl Mysteries).  Say hello to Fran and Ken Stein, PI's!

Meet Fran and Ken Stein - a private investigator duo who refuse to let a little thing like being not entirely human stop them from doing their jobs.

"Twisty and bonkers and fun" Multi award-winning author Catriona McPherson

After losing their parents when they were just babies, private investigators Fran and Ken Stein now specialize in helping adoptees find their birth parents. So when a client asks them for help finding her father, with her only clue a rare ukulele, the case is a little weird, sure, but it's nothing they can't handle.

But soon Fran and her brother are plunged into a world where nothing makes sense - and not just the fact that a very short (but very cute) NYPD detective keeps trying to take eternal singleton Fran out on dates.

All Fran wants to do is find the ukulele and collect their fee, but it's hard to keep your focus when you're stumbling over corpses and receiving messages that suggest your (dead) parents are very much alive.

Ukuleles aside, it's becoming clear that someone knows something they shouldn't - that Fran and Ken Stein weren't so much born, as built . . .

The Ukulele of Death is the first in a new series of light-hearted, paranormal tinged mysteries that are filled with off-beat humor, heart and the wry wisdom that's E.J. Copperman's signature style.

ROCCO's Review:  A different kind of cozy with a good plot, told in E.J. Copperman's inimitable style of blending in humor.  (Cat-ch the irony in the character names, LOL).  A definite five star debut!

Bonus:  E. J. Copperman interview!

ROCCO:  Welcome back, EJ!  Please tell us about your newest book and/or series.

 E.J.: Thanks for inviting me back! It’s always a pleasure.

UKULELE OF DEATH is the first book in a series about Fran and Ken Stein (I’ll give you a second), two very tall, very strong private investigators (and siblings) who are asked by a client to find a rare ukulele she thinks can help her find her birth father. Things go steadily downhill from there. And the fact that Fran and Ken aren’t exactly normal humans does play into the story…


 ROCCO  Readers always have a favorite character. Do you have a favorite from this book and/or series?


EJ: Well, Fran narrates so I spend most of my time in her head. But I think people will enjoy her friend the US Marshal, the accessible billionaire who offers to help and of course Fran and Ken’s “Aunt Margie,” who raised them after their parents were forced to flee New York City.


ROCCO:  Once you’re finished writing a book, how long is it before you start writing the next?

 EJ: It depends on whether I have a contract for something else. I’m writing the second Fran and Ken book now, to be followed by the sixth Jersey Girl Legal Mystery. So that’ll keep me busy for a bit.


 ROCCO:  Where do you do your best writing?

 EJ: Wherever I happen to be. Location doesn’t really enter into it. I do my MOST writing at my desk in my office, because I’m there most of the time.


ROCCO:  Any new projects in the works?

 EJ: Well, this is the first in a series, so that’s new, and the aforementioned Jersey Girl #6 (following AND JUSTICE FOR MALL), and then… there are possibilities.

ROCCO:  What do you love to do in your free time? LOL Do you get much free time?

 EJ: Not as much as I'd like LOL. I watch baseball games; I’m an ardent fan. I spend time with my amazing spouse and sometimes our children, who have had the nerve to grow up and move into homes of their own.


ROCCO: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books?

 EJ: The easiest place is at of course. There you’ll find info, news (such as it is), reviews and anything else you might, for reasons I couldn’t imagine, want to know about me. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter and very occasionally Instagram. I’d be on TikTok but nobody wants that.


Thanks so much for an amazing interview, E.J.


Ukulele of Death debuts in bookstore today!

Amazon link: