Monday, August 31, 2015

BE MY BANSHEE by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Book 1 in the Purple Door Detective Agency Mystery series 
by Joyce and Jim Lavene

The Purple Door Detective Agency is hiring. Those without magic need not apply. Salary commensurate with experience. Apply at the agency. No phone calls or psychic links. Sunshine Merryweather is a young witch with a passion for colorful clothes and good food. She is the owner/operator of the Purple Door Detective Agency. Her partner, John, was brutally murdered three days ago, and she won’t stop until she finds his killer. Aine is only interested in one thing when she walks into the building with the purple door–locating the last man alive in the branch of the O’Neill family she haunts as abeane sidhe. She has been asleep for 200 years in a ruined Irish castle and realizes that the world has moved on without her. She needs to find the O’Neill heir and encourage him to start a family or she will pass from existence when he dies. Sunshine sees a potential partner when she looks at the powerful beane sidhe - they could be the next Dynamic Duo! But Aine isn’t interested in Sunshine’s schemes - until the witch agrees to help her locate O’Neill. Even then, it will be a short-term association at best from Aine’s point of view. She has no need of witchcraft. Neither woman is aware of the danger they face as an ancient assassin stalks the old port city of Norfolk, Virginia. It will take more than simple witchcraft or beane sidhe magic to stop the killer. They will have to work together and combine their talents. But can Sunshine and Aine put aside their differences to stop the murders without tearing each other apart? By National Bestselling mystery and urban fantasy authors Joyce and Jim Lavene (Retired Witches and Missing Pieces Mysteries)


BE MY BANSHEE is unlike anything I have ever read. This book isn’t just a para-cozy, it has a large paranormal aspect to it. It’s not a story I would normally read or review on my blog, but there was one major deciding factor in me choosing to read it…the authors, Joyce and Jim Lavene. These two brilliant writers turn everything they write into gold.

Well written and very creative, BE MY BANSHEE has an incredible plot. There was action and suspense from the beginning of page one, all the way to the fantastic conclusion. Once again the Lavenes have created a winning new series.

Even if this isn’t your normal reading material, with the Halloween season approaching add a copy of this fun mystery to your reading list. Can you think of a more perfect time of year to read a book about witches, banshees, shape shifters, and more?

If you’ve read books but this beyond talented writing team, then you know you have to get this book. If you haven’t read the writing of Joyce and Jim Lavene…what are you waiting for?! 


Book 24 in the Lucy Stone Mystery series 
by Leslie Meier

Halloween is coming to Tinker’s Cove, Maine, and local reporter Lucy Stone is covering the town’s annual Giant Pumpkin Fest for the Pennysaver. There’s the pumpkin-boat regatta, the children’s Halloween party, the pumpkin weigh-in…even a contest where home-built catapults hurl pumpkins at an old Dodge! But not everything goes quite as planned…
Lucy’s getting very annoyed that her husband Bill and his friend Evan have been working seemingly nonstop on their potentially prize-winning pumpkin catapult. But when the day of the big contest arrives, Evan is nowhere to be found…until a catapulted pumpkin busts open the trunk of the Dodge. Amid the pumpkin gore is a very deceased Evan, bashed in the head and placed in the trunk by someone long before the contest started.
Bill is on the hook for the Halloween homicide—he was the last one to see Evan—so Lucy knows she’s got some serious sleuthing to do. The crime’s trail seems to always circle back to Country Cousins, the town’s once-quaint general store that’s now become a big Internet player. Though the store’s founder, Old Sam Miller, is long gone, his son Tom and grandson Trey now run the hugely successful company. But whispered rumors say things aren’t going well, and Lucy finds that this case may have something to do with an unsolved, decades-old Miller family mystery…
With each new lead pointing her in a different direction, Lucy sees that time is quickly running out. If she wants to spook the real killer, she’ll have to step into an old ghost story…


I haven’t read a Lucy Stone Mystery since the first one. It was when I was first trying out cozies and new to me authors, so I was trying a lot of firsts. I’m happy to have been given the chance to visit with Lucy again. That being said, a lot of things have changed in Lucy’s life since I read about her last, but one thing that hasn’t changed is Lucy’s knack for getting involved in murder cases.

In CANDY CORN MURDER, author Leslie Meier takes us on an amazing ride through not one, but two murders. This book moved at a great pace with lots of twists and turns, and questioning if the two murders were connected. But Ms. Meier brings it altogether with an inspired conclusion.

If you’re a fan of Halloween themed cozies, you are going to love CANDY CORN MURDER. And it goes without saying that Leslie Meier fans are in for a real treat!

As always, please leave a comment and 
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Sunday, August 30, 2015

BASKET CASE by Nancy Haddock
ALL SALES FINAL by Josie Belle 

Book 1 in the Silver Six Crafting Mystery series 
by Nancy Haddock

First in a crafty new cozy mystery series from national bestselling author Nancy Haddock

There isn’t much crime in Lilyvale, Arkansas, but local authorities have their hands full with Ms. Sherry Mae Stanton Cutler and her housemates—a crafty group of retirees who’ve dubbed themselves the Silver Six. But when Sherry Mae’s niece, Nixy, arrives to keep them in line, Lilyvale also plays host to a killer.

When Leslee Stanton “Nixy” Nix gets the latest call from Lilyvale detective Eric Shoar, she knows it means trouble. There’s been another kitchen explosion at her Aunt Sherry’s farmhouse, and the dreamy-voiced detective has had enough. If Nixy doesn’t check on her aunt in person, the Silver Six could become wards of the court. But the trouble Nixy finds in Lilyvale is not at all what she expects.

The seniors are hosting a folk art festival at the farmhouse, featuring Sherry’s hand-woven baskets, when land developer Jill Elsman arrives to bully Nixy’s aunt into selling the property. When Jill is later found dead in the cemetery, Sherry is suspected of weaving a murder plot, and it’s up to Nixy and the Silver Six to untangle the truth.

Recipes and crafting tip included!


BASKET CASE is one of the cutest, most refreshing new cozy mysteries of the year! Author Nancy Haddock has created an extraordinarily, fun cast of characters. The “Silver Six” are such a handful, but there isn’t one of them I wouldn’t want for an aunt.

This first book in the Silver Six Crafting Mystery series is packed with fun, mystery, and just plain good story telling. I was captivated from beginning to end, sad when the book was done.

Ms. Haddock lets readers get a very good way into the story before she brings in the discovery of the murder victim. I’m so glad she waited. It really helped me to get to know and enjoy the core characters before they launched into investigation mode.

Excellent writing and a wonderfully plotted mystery make BASKET CASE one of the “must read” new mysteries of 2015. Don’t miss out on this one!  Nancy Haddock is sure to be an ongoing name in cozy mysteries.

Crafting tips, recipes, and an excerpt of book 2, GOODBYE GOURDEOUS, can all be found at the back of the book!


Book 5 in the Good Buy Girls Mystery series 
by Josie Belle 

Maggie’s impending wedding finds her more concerned with a cold case than cold feet in the latest from the author of Marked Down for Murder . . .

There’s something 100% off about Maggie and her fiancé Sam’s new dream home in the historic section of St. Stanley. The lights flicker, the doors blow shut, and their cat, Marshall Dillon, hisses at empty space. And there’s something in the basement that’s definitely not a bargain . . .

After Maggie discovers a skeleton in the root cellar, she’s convinced her house is haunted by a murdered man’s ghost. With the help of her Good Buy Girls, Maggie works to tag a killer. But she’ll need to be careful as she digs into the history of her new digs. Someone is willing to keep the truth buried at all costs . . .



The Good Buy Girls are back and better than ever. As with all the books in this series, ALL SALES FINAL would be a bargain at ten times the price. (But Maggie and friends would still suggest you look for the best deal.)

I have adored this series since the first book and I’m not embarrassed to say I consider the group of characters in these stories to be friends of mine. Book one in this series, 50% OFF MURDER, is one of the first cozy mysteries that I picked out and purchased for myself. Up until Book 1, I had been reading cozies loaned to me by my sister who introduced me to the world of cozy mysteries. Okay, back to the review.

Who knew wedding plans and buying a house would bring up old skeletons? Okay, one old skeleton. One that is discovered in the house that protagonist Maggie and her fiancé, Sam plan to make their new home.

As with all her books, having a true talent for storytelling, author Josie Belle filled ALL SALES FINAL to overflowing with mystery, fun, and wonderful relationships (and with this story some unearthly happenings) that continues all the way through this book until the amazing ending.

This book was wonderful through and through, though I’m afraid my review isn’t doing it justice. This was a hard one for me to write. You see, the entire time I was writing it, in the back of my mind I knew this would be the last review I wrote for a Good Buy Girls mystery. Author Josie Belle aka Jenn McKinlay has announced she won’t be writing any more books in this series. I can live in hope that one day she may change her mind, however from what she has announced through her social media pages, it doesn’t seem likely. Rather she does pen a new GBG mystery or not, I’d like to thank Ms. Belle for the hours and hours of joy she has given me through these books and the delightful characters. I’ll miss them.  

Both of these great titles release on 
Tuesday, September 1! 

Pre-order your copies today!

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
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Saturday, August 29, 2015

TRICK OR DECEIT by Shelley Freydont

Book 5 in the Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery series 
by Molly MacRae

In the latest from the bestselling author of Plagued by Quilt, Kath Rutledge yarn bombs Blue Plum, Tennessee—and gets tangled up in the mystery of a bumped-off bagpiper.

It’s time for Handmade Blue Plum, an annual arts and crafts fair, and Kath and her knitting group TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber) plan to kick off the festivities with a yarn bombing. But they’re not the only ones needling Blue Plum. Bagpiper and former resident Hugh McPhee had just returned after a long absence, yet his reception is anything but cozy. The morning after his arrival, he’s found dead in full piper’s regalia.

Although shaken, Kath and her knitting group go forward with their yarn installation—only to hit a deadly snag. Now, with the help of Geneva, the ghost who haunts her shop, Kath and TGIF need to unravel the mystery before someone else gets kilt!


Author Molly MacRae has written another winner in the Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery series. Like a beautiful afghan, every new stich she makes in this series only serves to make it more wonderful.

KNOT THE USUAL SUSPECTS is absolutely delightful. I can’t knit a knot, but I loved reading about the lovely projects this fun loving, sassy group of characters create. It really does inspire me to want to learn the craft.

Kath and crew find themselves in the middle of another murder, and of course they investigate, with the help of resident ghost, Geneva.

Ms. MacRae has a wonderful talent for combining mystery, fun, crafting, and the paranormal. With twists and turns and surprises all the way to the exciting reveal, KNOT THE USUAL SUSPECTS is a must read mystery that will thrill readers and have them begging the author for more.

This is also a great mystery for readers of several mystery sub-genres. Craft-cozies, and para-cozies. There is indeed something for everyone in this one.

Don’t forget to check out the back of the book for recipes and knitting patterns! 


Book 4 in the Celebration Bay Mystery series
by Shelley Freydont

The author of Independence Slay invites readers back to Celebration Bay for Halloween festivities with more tricks than treats…

This October in Celebration Bay, you can’t swing a black cat without hitting a haunted house. There are three finalists in the contest for the town’s official Haunted House, and ten thousand dollars will go to the winner, with the rest of the contributions and proceeds funding a new community center. Event coordinator Liv Montgomery has invited her friend Jonathan Preston, the debonair CEO of a philanthropic organization, hoping he will award a grant to the center.

But after the Museum of Yankee Horrors wins first place, the transformed Victorian boarding house is vandalized ... and among scattered mannequins of Hester Prynne, Lizzie Borden, and the Headless Horseman, a real dead body is found—one of the contest judges. Now in addition to playing host to Jon, Liv has to play detective and coordinate the clues to unmask a self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.


In more than plenty of time for Halloween, TRICK OR DECEIT is the perfect book to read for the season. But I bet you won’t last that long before you read this installment of the Celebration Bay Mystery series.

It’s October in Celebration Bay and murder and mischief was not supposed to be on the agenda for event coordinator Liv Montgomery. Well, not the real thing anyway. But that doesn’t stop it from happening.

Halloween is my favorite holiday setting for cozy mysteries. I mean, how perfect, right? And author Shelley Feydont takes full advantage of the holiday to write a delightful mystery that is tricky to figure out and a real treat to devour. TRICK OR DECEIT was a great whodunit with more surprises than candy in a trick or treat bag, and had me second guessing myself right up until the thrilling conclusion.

Don’t be afraid to pick up this Halloween cozy. You’re going to love it! And I look forward to what author Frydont has in store for us next. 

Both of these great titles release on 
Tuesday, September 1! 

Pre-order your copies today!

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by 
clicking on the link in the 
upper right hand corner of this page.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Cozy Food Friday!

That means it's time to share a recipe from 
another great cozy mystery!

Today I'm featuring a recipe from the cozy mystery 
Book 3 in the Chef Maurice Mystery series
J. A. Lang

They say all’s Fayre in love and baking… 

Spring has sprung, the bunting is up, and for the residents of the little Cotswold village of Beakley, this can only mean one thing: it’s time for the Beakley Spring Fayre. 

Drawing the crowds this year is stiletto-strutting celebrity chef Miranda Matthews, a woman for whom making enemies is a piece of (shop-bought) cake. And one of them is lurking around the Fayre, ready to make sure Miranda hangs up her apron—for good. 

Faced with a murderer with a possible penchant for top(ping) chefs, Chef Maurice must sift through the clues and weigh up the suspects—not to mention contending with a sous-chef with mummy issues, a food critic on a diet, and a bulletproof pudding—as he finds himself on the trail of a killer who’s not cooking by the rules…

Available October 12!

Today's recipe is one Chef Maurice just knows you will love! He asked 
J.A. to share it with us. 


A great way to use up leftover risotto. And baking the arancini balls in the oven instead of deep-frying is both easier and healthier – win-win!


leftover risotto, chilled
150g all-purpose/plain flour
1 large egg
150g dried breadcrumbs
olive oil spray
Optional: mozzarella (or other cheese of choice)


1. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4.

3. In a large bowl, make a thick batter by mixing the egg into flour, then adding water gradually until the batter reaches a thick, gloopy consistency.

4. Use your hands to form the leftover risotto into balls. (Chilled risotto is easier to work with than when it is warm.) Optional: add small chunks of mozzarella into the centre of each risotto ball as you are forming them.

5. Place the breadcrumbs onto a plate.

6. Dip each risotto ball into the batter, turning it until it is fully coated. Then roll the batter-covered ball in the breadcrumbs and then place onto the baking sheet. Repeat for each risotto ball.

8. Spritz each ball with olive oil spray.

7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs have turned golden. (Note: The arancini will not be quite as golden as they would have been if deep-fried.)

8. Serve hot.

Images supplied by author J. A. Lang

Tip: If you’re looking for a good risotto recipe, try this recipe for 

Don't those sound good? 

J.A. Lang is a British mystery author. She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, an excessive number of cookbooks, and a sourdough starter named Bob.

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Please keep reading and check out my 
installments of 
Book Beginnings on Fridays
The Friday 56


My Book Beginnings and Friday 56
 for this week are from

Book 2 in the Lighthouse Library Mystery series 
by Eva Gates

The author of By Book or By Crook returns to the Outer Banks and the Lighthouse Library, where Lucy Richardson must shed light on a shocking murder…

Lucy has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. She loves walking on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one, but TWO eligible men. But then her socialite mother, Suzanne, unexpectedly drops in, determined to move Lucy back to Boston—and reunite her with her ex-fiancé.

To make matters worse, Suzanne picks a very public fight at the local hotel with her former classmate Karen Kivas. So, when Karen turns up dead outside the library the next morning, Suzanne is immediately at the top of the suspect list. Now Lucy must hunt down a dangerous killer—before the authorities throw the book at her poor mother…

Available September 1

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader
Share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading

My Book Beginnings...

I love my mother. Truly, I do. She's never shown me anything but love, although she's tempered it by criticism perhaps once too often. She believes in me, I think, although she's not exactly averse to pointing out that I'd be better off if I did things her way. She's a kind, generous person. At least, that is, to those she doesn't consider to be in competition with her for some vaguely defined goal, or else watch out---she'll carry grudge to the grave. She may be stiff and formal and sometimes overly concerned with the observance of proper behavior, but she's also adventurous and well traveled. And above all, her love of her children knows no bounds.    

I do love my mother. 

I just wish she weren't bearing down on me at this moment, face beaming, arms outstretched. 

"Surprise, darling!" she cried. 

It was a surprise all right. My heart sank into my stomach and I forced out a smile of my own. 

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda's Voice
Rules: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's okay.) *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you. *Post it.

My Friday 56...

For once, my mother was silent. She took a seat on the sofa. She crossed her legs at the ankles and rested her hands lightly in her lap. Her nails were pink. The same color was on her toes, the manicure and pedicure fresh and smart.

As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

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clicking on the link in the 
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