Little Bookshop of Murder: A Beach Reads Mystery #1 by Maggie Blackburn
Summer is not having a good summer. After a minor scandal has her scurrying off to England to spend some time researching Shakespeare for an academic paper, she has to rush back home to North Carolina when her mother dies suddenly of a heart attack. Arriving back home in the small town she thought she’d left behind forever, Summer begins to suspect that her mother’s death wasn’t natural and after failing to convince the town’s police chief to investigate, takes on the challenge herself with her aunt and cousins. Can Summer uncover the truth before she ends up a victim in her own tragedy?
I saw this on Netgalley and couldn’t resist snagging it. I really enjoyed this, equal parts engaging, heartbreaking, exciting, and heartwarming. Summer and her family are likeable and the story was rich in detail, making the setting and the characters seem so realistic it was like being there. But that came at the expense of the pacing, which lagged a bit in the middle and there was a fair amount of rehashing. I liked how organically and realistically Summer set out to investigate, especially when she followed in the footsteps of her mother’s last day. Took her a bit longer to see whodunit than it did me (and I thought the motive was a bit shaky) but that twisty, action-packed reveal and the surprise twist at the very end wrapped everything up nicely and left me wanting more.
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Biscuits and Slashed Browns by Maddie Day
Biscuits and Slashed Browns is the 4th book in the Country Store Mysteries, and the small town of South Lick, IN is gearing up for a Maple Festival when a visiting college professor ruffles some feathers and winds up dead with a chef’s knife stuck in his chest. Puzzle fanatic Robbie can’t seem to let the matter go, especially when the prime suspects are her best friend Christina and the father of one of her employees! Robbie ruthlessly chases the truth, and finds herself in a couple of sticky situations before being confronted by the killer and barely escaping with her life! (And I loved how the title was a part of the plot!)
I love a visit to South Lick and catching up with Robbie, Buck and Adele and of course, Robbie’s food (I’m going to make those maple biscuits!) and this one didn’t disappoint. The author does such a great job of creating a world that welcomes you back like an old friend. The rich plot had a lot going on without feeling too cluttered, with a fast pace and a riveting plot that kept me glued to the pages. I mean, the floors can wait to be washed, but mysteries don’t solve themselves! Robbie’s bike rides had me, who is freezing in arctic Indiana right now, yearning for those spring days with the promise of warmer weather to come. I would’ve liked to have seen a little bit about the maple syrup process, too bad Robbie didn’t make it to see the Native American sugaring demonstration. And did she ever fix her taillight? Did she give Warren’s crown back to Noreen? These are the things I worry about, folks.
Overall, Biscuits and Slashed Browns serves up another finger lickin’ good cozy mystery and another enjoyable visit to South Lick.
Killer Party by Lynn Cahoon
I liked this, but I didn’t love it. While the mystery was interesting and intriguing, I didn’t care for any of Greg’s friends, and that made me feel a little apathetic towards solving the murder and seriously Jill, get over the whole relationship angst. The surprising and exciting ending was a great way to end the book, and overall it was entertaining and enjoyable. Mostly, I just enjoy another visit to South Cove and catching up with Jill, Greg and the Coffee, Books & More gang (And I really concerned about Aunt Jackie!)