Friday, October 27, 2023



We recently came across a new (well new to us) series that we'd like to introduce you to!  the Shady Hollow Mysteries!

Set in the fictional town of Shady Hollow, the cast of characters is quite unique in that they are all animals!  there' Vera Vixen, a very foxy reporter (mainly because she is a fox - a four footed one) who's got a real nose for trouble and always seeks the truth; Lenore Lee, the raven in charge of the town's bookshop who loves a good mystery, on paper or in real life; Chief of Police Theodore Meade, a bear of a fellow (no pun intended) a brawny individual who's usually more intersted in fishing than crime solving; Dorothy Springfield, a rat who likes to get in the middle of things; Gladys Honysuckle, the town gossip; and so many more!

The first volume, SHADY HOLLOW, introduces us to the town and its quirky characters in the form of the murder of a curmudgeonly toad.  Reporter Vera Vixen is, of course, on the job --and her investigations turn up more than one skeleton in quite a few closets!  We found ourselves solving the murder right along with Vera!

In the second volume, COLD CLAY, some long-buried secrets come to light, throwing suspicion on a beloved local denizen.

It's autumn in Shady Hollow, and residents are looking forward to harvest feasts. But then a rabbit discovers a grisly crop: the bones of a moose.

Soon, the owner of Joe's Mug is dragged out of the coffeeshop and questioned by the police about the night his wife walked out of his life—and Shady Hollow—forever. It seems like an open-and-shut case, but dogged reporter Vera Vixen doesn't believe gentle Joe is a killer. She'll do anything to prove his innocence ... even if it means digging into secrets her neighbors would rather leave buried.

The third novel in the Shady Hollow mystery series, is MIRROR LAKE, n which Vera Vixen takes on her most challenging case yet: solving the murder of a rat who appears to still be alive.

Change is afoot in Shady Hollow, with an unusually tense election shaping up between long-serving Chief of Police Theodore Meade and Vera's beau, Deputy Orville Braun. But the political tension takes a back seat when resident eccentric Dorothy Springfield becomes convinced her beloved husband, Edward, is dead, and that the rat claiming to be him is actually a fraud.

While most of the town dismisses Dorothy's rants as nothing more than a delusion, Vera has her doubts. More than a few things don't add up in the Springfield household, but Vera will have to tread carefully, since, with Orville's attention on the election, she may be more exposed than ever.

Which brings us to the latest entry, out November 7th - TWILIGHT FALLS. 

 Our gal Vera gets embroiled in a case involving a pair of star crossed lovers - which Vera can relate to, since she's involved in her own relationship with police chief Orville Braun.  Shades of Romeo and Juliet overshadow this mystery of young residents battling their families to find true love - and when the father of one of them goes over the falls, Vera takes it upon herself to find out whodunit, even though her sleuthing puts her in opposition with Orville, which, of course, doens't bode well for their relationship!

Intrigued?   Would you like to win a copy of Shady Hollow, the first book in the series?  If so, leave a comment with your email address in our comments section below!  ROCCO's brother Maxx will select one lucky winner at random!  US residents only please.  Contest ends midnight, November 7th!

Friday, October 13, 2023

ROCCO'S Cozy Reviews for October!

  Ma-Row! Let's see what's in store for October!


Berkley Mass Market; October 10, 2023


It’s Christmastime in Scottsdale in the newest entry in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay. According to Kirkus Reviews“Multitudes of motives make it difficult to catch the killer in this sweet tale.” When country music star Shelby Vaughn arrives in town for a concert series, she hires her old friend Angie and the rest of the bakery crew to cater for her VIP guests. It’s a sweet gig, and despite Shelby’s heated argument with her manager, Mel and the crew decide to make the best of it. But things turn sour wen Shelby’s manager is found dead, clutching a cupcake and a bit of fabric from a Santa suit. When all suspicions lead back to Shelby, Mel and Angie stand up for their friend, determined to prove her innocence before she’s frosted for a crime she didn’t commit.

We love any book by Jenn McKinlay!  This one has a "sweet" plot and lots of action!  Followers of this series will not be disappointed! Five paws!




Berkley Mass Market; October 10, 2023


The trades have already weighed in on USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox’s second entry in the True Confections Mystery series, with Kirkus Reviews calling the novel, “As sweet as its many sugar-infused puns.” Winter has arrived in Larch Haven, Vermont, bringing with it holiday cheer, lots of snow and the annual “Baking Spirits Bright” holiday baking competition.  As Becca preps to enter an edible model of Larch Haven, complete with a cake mountain, gingerbread cottages, and sugar-glass canals, she’s up against [some sort of candy pun for stiff competition]. The competition quickly heats to a boiling point, with flaring tempers and mysterious happenings. When one of the entrants is found dead, stabbed with Becca’s chocolate chipper, Becca tries to salvage the season by finding the killer. But the heat is on, and Becca is in danger of getting burned.

Can we ever get enough of culinary mysteries?  Lots of baking ones this month, and Sarah Fox shines with this tale.  Four and a half paws




Berkley Prime Crime Hardcover; October 24, 2023

This is the first ever Christmas mystery in the New York Times bestselling Bibliophile Mystery series, ripe with “pleasing characters and vivid descriptions of glorious Scotland” according to Kirkus Reviews! In this Christmassy chapter Brooklyn and Derek travel to Scotland for business and pleasure—to bare witness to their dear friend Claire’s marriage to her [dashing beau] and to solve a little mystery in the castle library; twelve very rare, very important books have gone missing! Once in Scotland, as Brooklyn starts working on the mystery of the missing books, bumps in the night lead to the deaths of two guests, and Brooklyn and Derek will have to race to find a killer and a book thief in this tricky Christmas tale.

This series is a personal favorite of ours!  We love reading about Brooklyn's adventures and solving the mysteries (always book related) right along with her and her hunk of a husband, Derek!  And in meow opinion, never too early to read about Christmas!  Not necessary to read others in the series to catch up but it is highly recommended! Five Paws.





Berkley Prime Crime Hardcover; on sale October 17, 2023


Librarian Kathleen Paulson and her enchanted felines return in the latest installment in the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats series. Cat lovers and fans of the series will be pleased, as Kirkus Reviews notes the novel is “Heavy on the world of continuing characters, with a few cat moments thrown in as crowd pleasers.” When a water leak repair results in a body being found behind the walls of the store run by the artists’ co-op that Kathleen's friend Maggie is part of, everyone is completely mystified as to whose body it is and who hid it there. But as the dust settles, Kathleen's boyfriend, Detective Marcus Gordon, begins to suspect that the body could belong to a young woman who disappeared more than thirty years ago. When a friend with a connection to the young woman asks Kathleen to look into the circumstances around the disappearance, she and her cats—who have a special feline talent for catching felons—find themselves digging up secrets that at least one person in Mayville Heights would much prefer stay buried.\

Another fine entry in this tried and true series.  I mean one magical cat is phenomenal but two!!!!!!  And we love solving the mysteries right along with Kathleen. Once again, it can be read as a standalone, but we highly recommend starting with book one!  Five Paws!