I’ve been looking forward to this series ever since Ainsley was introduced in one of the Inn at Holiday Bay books, so I spent the weekend with Ainsley and her friends in Gooseberry Bay. Absolutely loving this series so far!
Halloween Moon (Cottage on Gooseberry Bay #1)
I’m a huge fan of (some may say obsessed with) the Inn at Holiday Bay series, so when there was a crossover introducing Ainsley, I was excited to dig into this series and I absolutely love it! Ainsley and her new group of friends are a plucky bunch, resourceful and determined in their investigation into a young woman’s death, and heroic in their rescue. The main plot of Cammy’s death was a little different than most cozies in that there was really only one suspect, so they were just looking for proof, and the cracking good ending made for an exciting read.
As with Abi’s search for answers in the Inn at Holiday Bay series, Ainsley’s search for the truth of her adoption will span several books. I’m looking forward to seeing that mystery unfold as well.
I really enjoyed this debut book of the Gooseberry Bay series and definitely recommend it (and the Inn at Holiday Bay series!) to cozy fans looking for well crafted characters and excellent plots.
Thanksgiving Past (Cottage on Gooseberry Bay #2)
It’s Thanksgiving in Gooseberry Bay and with it, another mystery for Ainsley and her friends. Her friend Parker, a journalist for the local paper, is reopening an investigation into a family who disappeared on Thanksgiving 5 years ago. The Thanksgiving dinner was on the counter ready to be served, the table was set and there were no signs of a struggle. Parker was just beginning her career back then and is hoping that with her refined investigative skills and new resources, she’ll finally be able to solve this mysterious case.
What I love about the books this author writes is that they’re never the same ol’ tried and true plots and this one was no exception, I thoroughly enjoyed how the plot around the missing family played out and the awesome ending. Meanwhile, Ainsley finally meets Adam, the elder Winchester brother and begins to look into the mystery of her adoption. I like the dynamic between Ainsley and Adam, it’s cute and romantic without being too cute and romantic.
Also, I just realized that the blurb about this book is different than what happened in the book I read, so I think there was some editing or retooling involved before it evolved into this book.
Overall, a super enjoyable holiday read and I’m totally sucked into this series!
Gooseberry Christmas (Cottage on Gooseberry Bay #3)
This was a great holiday read and I’m loving how this series is coming along. Ainsley and her friends team up again, this time to clear a friend after he’s seen running from the scene of a murder. The victim had no shortage of people who’d want him dead, both due to his professional life as a successful realtor and his personal life of chasing women. Ainsley bowed out of helping much with this one, saying she “wasn’t a local, so it was better that the locals do the sleuthing…” which didn’t make sense to me. I mean, how are you going to know the locals if you don’t go out and learn about the locals? It was a flimsy excuse so she could spend more time with Adam, which she did; ballroom dance lessons, cozy lunches in Adam’s palatial apartment (within the mansion, no less) and volunteering at the Christmas tree farm. But we did get to learn more about Adam and his work, and I appreciated the glimpse into his life.
As with the last book, the main plot of the murdered man at the Christmas tree lot was not your usual cozy plot, and that’s what I love about this author’s books. How they tracked down the true culprit from just a few clues shows how resourceful and adept they are at putting the pieces together. Enjoyable!