Saturday, June 5, 2021

I read and review a lot of books. This means I can often get behind on deadlines (that I set for myself).

So, there are times that I write "cozy-sized" reviews.
They're much shorter than I like to write, but I can get them out there quicker for you, and for the authors.

I hope you still get the feel of what I thought of the following books.


by Laurien Berenson

With a new litter of Standard Poodles on the way and her sons enrolled at the Graceland School's summer camp, it's shaping up to be a vibrant July in Greenwich, Connecticut for dog show champ and amateur sleuth Melanie Travis. But Melanie's busy life shows no signs of slowing down for the dog days of summer - especially when the arrival of three rambunctious Dalmatian puppies sets off a series of mysterious events...

While usually protective, Melanie feels comfortable sending her sons to the Graceland School's summer camp for two reasons: The institution is well-regarded and proprietor Emily Grace is a trusted friend. But Emily has been acting strange since three rambunctious Dalmatian puppies suddenly appeared on her doorstep. The unusual arrival marks the first of several mysterious happenings at camp, each more intense than the last. Emily's rough streak takes a frightening turn with a discovery in the nearby woods--the body of her estranged ex-husband.

As suspicions rush in, proving that Emily didn't murder her biggest mistake will be about as easy as raising prize-winning show dogs. Realizing she's the only one who can prove her friend's innocence and keep the Graceland School from shutting down, Melanie dives into an investigation on the victim's whereabouts leading up to his demise. With a few spotty clues and Aunt Peg's growing curiosity about the Dalmatian pups' origins, Melanie must name the culprit before good intentions come back to bite!


I have loved this series since the very first book. Author Laurien Berenson knowledge of dogs shines through. PUP FICTION is another such example. As for the mystery behind the story, Ms. Berenson treats us to a tail wagging whodunit that had me chewing on the clues and digging for the answers. Another spectacular installment to an already wonderful series. I'm already whining for the next book!


by Jess Dylan

The first in a sweet and colorful cozy mystery series from Jess Dylan, Death in Bloom introduces flower shop owner Sierra Ravenswood.

At the Flower House, every rose has its thorn . . .

Sierra Ravenswood is the new part-time employee of the Flower House, a flower shop in Aerieville, Tennessee. It's true she didn't expect to be back in her hometown at twenty-eight-years-old, but after her dream of making it as a singer in Nashville crashed and burned, she's just grateful to have found a soft place to land.

Because, after all, Sierra firmly believes in being optimistic and positive about life, so she's sure she won't have to work at the Flower House forever. But things take a decidedly negative turn when a customer drops dead in the middle of her new bouquet-arranging workshop at the store. When it's discovered he was poisoned by a snack at the event, everyone at the workshop, including Sierra, is on the suspect list. To make matters worse, her boss has gone AWOL and left the store to her for the cost of one dollar, leaving Sierra in charge of both his store and his high-energy Corgi puppy, Gus.

The town is on edge, and Sierra knows that murder is something that an upbeat attitude and a bouquet of sweet-smelling roses can't fix. She's determined to figure out whodunit, before anyone else in town meets an untimely reason for needing funeral flowers.


A promising start to a new series, DEATH IN BLOOM by author Jess Dylan, has the smell of success. Ms. Dylan has planted a seed of a mystery that will have your suspicions growing even as you start pruning back subjects. I'm looking forward to picking up the second installment when it blooms in November.


I hope these cozy-sized reviews help you in choosing your new read.


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  1. Thanks, Lisa.
    Happy Saturday!

    Pat T

  2. Thanks! Two more books on my TBR list. :)
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. both those covers are cute, but those dogs take the cake!! so adorable!!