Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Book 3 in the Elizabethan Mystery series
Amanda Carmack

 The author of Murder at Westminster Abbey and Murder at Hatfield House is back with an absorbing and surprising new Elizabethan Mystery…

1559. Elizabeth has been on the throne for six months, and life in England seems newly golden. But for the Royal Court, murder and betrayal are foretold in the stars.... 

Kate Haywood, the young queen’s personal musician, has been keeping busy playing for a merry round of summer parties where famed astrologer Dr. John Dee and his fantastic horoscopes are all the rage. However, Elizabeth’s favorite stargazer fails to predict the discovery of a skeleton in the queen’s garden—and that the victim’s identity will call his own innocence into question.

When the doctor’s pupil is the victim of a second murder, the concerned queen enlists her trusted Kate to clear the accused killer of wrongdoing. But will the stars align to light Kate’s path through a tangled thicket of treachery to save Elizabeth’s prized astrologer and protect the queen from those who threaten her reign?

My Review

I was sent this book to review and it is the first in this series that I have read. I don’t know that I would have picked it out for myself. Actually, I know I wouldn’t have. Historical mysteries aren’t something I normally read. That being said, I’m very happy I was given the chance to read MURDER IN THE QUEEN’S GARDEN. It was an enjoyable detour from my normal modern day cozy mystery reads.

This was a very well written, interesting mystery, with much intrigue and a great plot. Every chapter had me wondering what was around the corner.

Ms. Carmack has created a very likeable character in her series lead, Kate Haywood. Kate is personal musician to Queen Elizabeth and a trusted member of the Queen’s court. She is also quite smart and strong for a woman of this time period.

If you are a fan of historical mysteries you will really love this book. If you haven’t tried historicals, and you’re looking for something a little different, give MURDER IN THE QUEEN’S GARDEN a try. 

Pre-Order now for February 3 Release


Book 1 in the Chocolate Whisperer Mystery series
Colette London

Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they're irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix. . .

Hayden Mundy Moore has bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to find the finest cacao beans and the most flavorful blends. It's thrilling work but rarely dangerous--until a colleague turns up dead at the exclusive chocolate-themed LemaƮtre resort spa in San Francisco.

Adrienne Dowling's heart attack is blamed on an accidental overdose of the secret ingredient used in LemaƮtre Chocolates' new line. Hayden can't believe that conscientious Adrienne would make that mistake. And between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and a non-stop frenzy of chocolate-based treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Finding a killer among the rival chocolatiers and potential suspects won't just be satisfying--it might save her life. . .

My Review

Okay, a cozy mystery based on chocolate? Of course I'm going to read it!

This first in the Chocolate Whisperer series was a pretty good start. I enjoyed the characters and the premise of the story. I will absolutely read another in this series. However, the story could have been a little stronger. There were a few inconsistencies.

Colette London will have a wonderful series here once she tightens up a few things.

I would recommend you give this book a chance so you too can see just how fun this series could be.

Available Now


Book 6 in the Candy Holliday Mystery series
B. B. Haywood

In the quiet coastal community of Cape Willington, Maine, Candy Holliday is a local farmer who dutifully tends to her blueberry fields—and steps in to solve the occasional murder . . .
When Candy organizes a cooking event for her local newspaper, the town’s most prominent citizens turn out to witness the popular cookbook author Julia von Fleming serve as a guest judge. But when Julia comes close to consuming a poisoned pickle, she begins to suspect someone in Cape Willington is trying to kill her—and Candy is completely jarred to be among the suspects.
But the first taste was just a sample, and soon more jars of poisoned pickles begin to pop up around town. In the face of a pickled poisoning spree, Candy will have to track down the culprit to make sure her own name stays well-preserved. Along the way, she’ll pull the lid off a briny barrel of blackmail, thievery, and revenge that’s been souring their seaside hometown for years…



From the cozy coastal charm, to the delightful cast of characters (More Herr Georg, please B.B.!), the Candy Holliday Mystery series has been one of my go to series since I started reading cozy mysteries several years ago. I was an instant fan with the first book, TOWN IN A BLUEBERRY JAM, and I have read every book in the series since.

TOWN IN A SWEET PICKLE is the sixth installment and one of my favorites (after the first two). It was filled with action and fast paced chapters. So much happened in this story, it made my head spin (in a good way)!

I also love all the celebrations Cape Willington is famous for. This time it was a cooking contest which was a lot of fun, well it was until poisoned pickles turned up. While bad for the characters, it was a good thing for us readers because it led to a great mystery.

Author Haywood also brings out a continuing sub-story that has been building since the first book.

Readers will also enjoy the delicious recipes and helpful canning tips that are included.

I really enjoyed my time with Candy, her father, and friends and look forward to my next visit to Cape Willington.

Pre-Order now for February 3 Release

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  1. Happy Wednesday, Lisa, you've been a busy reader! I had not heard of Amanda Carmack, until this week, and think I would like this series. (I used to read romantic suspense.) Thanks for the review!

    1. LOL Pat, I have been! I still have a least five more reviews to do. I use to read regency romances years and years ago. So, reading this mystery was a fun change for me.

  2. Love your reviews, always helpful! Looking forward to reading these books. Love the Candy Holliday series! Thanks!

  3. Great reviews Lisa! I love historical mysteries, there for years, that was all I read. I loved reading about the differences in the times. Fashion was so much interesting then than it is now. I'm thinking about checking Amanda Carmack's books out. Its a little earlier in the time frame than I usually like to read. I usually like reading the Victorian and Edwardian era time frame. But, this seems interesting.

    1. I really think you'll enjoy these, Amanda.

    2. If you don't mind Lisa, there is a historical mystery that I would like to recommend to you. It's called, Sweet Revenge by Andrea Penrose. It takes place during the regency era. It is a very good mystery. I thought you might want to check it out since in an earlier comment, you mention reading regency romances. There is a bit of romance, but mostly, its a cozy historical mystery.

  4. Lisa, normally I wouldn't choose a historical mystery either but your review was great and it sounds like an interesting novel. Thank you.


    1. Thank you, Susan. I love it when my review can help someone!

  5. The review was great and definitely tempts one to want to read the book. Thank you!