Sunday, February 1, 2015

AT THE DROP OF A HAT by Jenn McKinlay
AS GOUDA AS DEAD by Avery Aames
A ROOT AWAKENING by Kate Collins

Book 3 in the Hat Shop Mystery series
Jenn McKinlay

Cousins Scarlett Parker and Vivian Tremont’s fashionable London hat shop, Mim’s Whims, is visited by a new customer bearing an old hat box. Ariana Jackson is getting married and wants to restore her mother’s bridal hat and veil for the occasion. The elegant item was made by Scarlett and Vivian’s grandmother over thirty years ago, so Viv is delighted to take the job. 
When Scarlett goes to Ariana's office to consult about the restoration cost, she finds her outside, standing over her boss’s dead body. Though Ariana claims to know nothing about his demise, the investigation unveils a motive for murder. Now, with the bride-to-be in custody and the wedding on hold, Scarlett and Viv must find the real killer before Ariana's future is boxed up for good

My Review

I must start this review out by saying, Jenn McKinlay is one of my very favorite authors. It was her Cupcake Bakery Mystery series that started me on this long glorious road of cozy mysteries. After I read every book to date in that series, I quickly bought and read every book she had published at the time under all of her pen names.  And all of that lead to me becoming a reviewer with my very own blog. So thank you, Jenn McKinlay. (And to be fair, thank you to my sister who handed me that first delightful book and said, “Read it.”)

Book three in Ms. McKinlay’s Hat Shop Mystery series, AT THE DROP OF A HAT, is another stellar offering from the author. She always has me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions when I read her books, and this title is no different. I literally laughed out loud, gasped, and even cried a little.

Her characters in this series are wonderful. I love American, Scarlett Parker and the fact that she is still trying to figure out the ways of the British. It makes for a fun balance with her very British cousin, Vivian Tremont and equally British Harrison Wentworth. I’m loving watching Scarlett’s and Harrison’s relationship progress.

As for the mystery aspect of the story, it was excellent. Ms. McKinlay is wonderful with throwing misleading clues the reader’s way. She had me going down one road when I should have been going up another. As a result, I had no idea who the killer was until the author wanted me to know.

Hats off to you Jenn McKinlay for this superb book and series!

And check out the back of the book for an excerpt of 
DARK CHOCOLATE DEMISE, book 7 in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay.


Book 6 in the Cheese Shop Mystery series
Avery Aames

Someone is cheesed off . . .

Providence, Ohio, is celebrating Valentine’s Day with weeklong events, including lovers’ baskets with heart-shaped cheeses at Fromagerie Bessette. Charlotte Bessette is celebrating by finally walking down the aisle with the man of her dreams, handsome artisanal cheese farmer, Jordan Pace. But when a beloved bar owner is discovered murdered on Jordan’s farm, he believes they should reschedule their wedding given the grim turn of events.

Charlotte is heartsick over the postponement. This killer crossed the wrong woman. No one, but no one, is ruining her wedding plans!

My Review

Releasing just in time to enjoy for Valentine’s Day, Avery Aames has another winner in AS GOUDA AS DEAD. This book is based during Valentine’s Day, so it is perfect to get you in the mood. Ummm…for love and chocolate, not murder. ;-) Let’s leave the murder between the pages.

In this sixth installment of her Cheese Shop Mystery series, Ms. Aames once again pens a winning story so full of intrigue, I was on the edge of my recliner with every chapter. This author’s writing is a true gift. Flawless and fluid, her words kept me turning pages long after I had planned. Honestly, it was hard to put this book down. And once I was finished, I found myself sad that it was over.

I absolutely adore her characters. From protagonist Charlotte Bessette, her close circle of friends, fiancé Jordan Pace, and all the other people that make up the town of Providence, Ohio. These characters are enough to make me want to pack my bags and move!

I can’t to mention the food! My very first job was working in a cheese shop. I remember the smells when opening the door first thing in the morning. This series always brings back those smells, and a big case of the hungries for cheese. Thankfully, many delicious recipes have been included for readers to try at home!

Brava on another great book, Ms. Aames! Gouda for you!

Also, check out the back of the book for an excerpt from FUDGING THE BOOKS, the next in the Cookbook Nook Mystery series also written by this author, but under the name of Daryl Wood Gerber. It’s another of my favorite series!


Book 16 in the Flower Shop Mystery series
Kate Collins

Abby Knight's marriage may be in full bloom, but house hunting is no bed of roses in latest novel in the New York Times bestselling Flower Shop Mystery series...

Now that they’ve tied the knot, flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, want to put down roots. When it comes to picking a house, Marco can’t wait to get his hands dirty, while Abby isn’t ready for a fixer-upper. But conflict really sprouts when they’re checking out a dilapidated Victorian and watch a construction worker take a life-threatening tumble.
Since witnesses claim the man shouted for help, suggesting that the fall was no accident, the victim’s flamboyant wife hires Marco to find the person responsible. Meanwhile, Abby keeps secret from Marco her own investigation into the home’s inhabitants, a family whose off-kilter behavior has aroused her suspicions. If only Abby’s very pregnant cousin, Jillian, will stop distracting Abby with false labor pains, she can conclude her own inquiries before Marco finds out…and her case blossoms into a disaster. 

My Review

I found A ROOT AWAKENING to be every bit as entertaining as the other volumes in this series. With the same great writing style, it’s packed with mystery, fun, and colorful characters.

It’s hard to believe this is already the sixteenth installment in the Flower Shop Mysteries. Yet, somehow, Ms. Collins has kept this series as fresh as the flowers she writes about. For indeed, it is a wonderful bloom in an ever growing bouquet.

There is a superb “whodunit” with plenty of false leads to keep you guessing. I had no idea who the culprit was until lead character, Abby Knight, knew herself. While I do love to be able to guess sometimes, I really enjoy when a book like this one leaves me with my mouth hanging open and saying, “No way!”

One of my favorite parts of the story was the house hunting involving Abby and her new husband, Marco. It reminded me so much of looking for a new house a couple of years ago. Some of the “fixer uppers” we were shown were in pretty rough shape. Like Abby, I was not enthused with the prospect of being the one to do the fixing.

You’re really going to enjoy A ROOT AWAKENING. If you haven’t read this series yet, please start adding them to your TBR stacks! You won’t be sorry. And if you already read this series, well, you are in for the same wonderful treat you always get when reading the Flower Shop Mysteries.

Check out the end of the book for a blurb on, FLORIST GRUMP, coming in November 2015!

You can Pre-Order all three titles now for February 3 Release!

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let me know what you think!

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  1. Looking forward to reading all three of these books!

  2. I'll take all 3! Gift wrapping not necessary lol. I wish I could get my hands on a $100 Amazon gift card right about now. Hope 1 of my relatives reads this --I know, dream on 😂

    1. Rumeur, I wouldn't ming getting my hands on one either!

  3. Happy Sunday, Lisa! I really want to read As Gouda as Dead...but, probably, will get around to the others, eventually!

    1. Hi Pat! It's a very good book. You're going to love it.