A Harvest Murder by Frances Evesham

A Harvest Murder by Frances Evesham

A Harvest Murder is the third of the Ham Hill mysteries. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I think, like most series, you get a fuller feel for the characters if you read them in order. We have two mysteries here. The first is the missing farmer. It's no surprise he ends up dead - the title is A Harvest Murder - but who killed him is unclear. The second mystery is who is harassing Dan, the local artist. First, one of his donkeys is kidnapped and brought back, then one of his paintings in a gallery is destroyed. Our sleuths are Imogen, who owns the local hotel, and former detective, Adam, who owns a local bar. A lot of the scenes take place in those locations, where people gather and talk and air their suspicions. The mysteries are well done, with several clues and enough suspects to keep you guessing. The townsfolk are a typically mixed...
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Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies is not your typical cozy mystery. Yes, we have an amateur sleuth who is a baker; she has a dog and a couple of potential love interests. But we know who the killer is - Daisy herself. She kills men with magic and pies - but they deserve it. The mystery is who is threatening to expose her. I liked Daisy - but she does kill people. She's a fabulous baker and a statewide pie contest has some of her attention during the book. She has an adorable trailer she lives in and she wears vintage dresses. For someone in her line of business, she can be a bit trusting. We learn about halfway through who the blackmailer is, but by then we're invested in seeing how Daisy will solve the problem without crossing any of her lines. The book has the lightheartedness I expect from a cozy, but it does talk about serious issues...
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Murder at the Blueberry Festival by Darci Hannah

Murder at the Blueberry Festival by Darci Hannah

Murder at the Blueberry Festival is a fun, light read, but at the same time, it deals sensitively and honestly with issues surrounding Alzheimer's and memory loss. The author strikes a good balance between keeping the book entertaining and at times downright laugh-out-loud funny and treating the issues in a kind, caring way. The Blueberry Festival is being ruined by a series of pranks. Well, maybe not ruined - it is attracting more tourists than ever, curious to see what will happen next. But then Lindsey and her boyfriend, Rory, find a dead body floating in a boat just offshore from the lighthouse. With so much going on, the pranks, the murder, so many tourists, the police are a little overloaded, and of course, Lindsey and her crew can't turn their backs on the opportunity to solve a mystery. The small-town atmosphere is done well. Everyone knows everyone, the kids on the floats in the parade are adorable, and gossip...
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Poison Ivy by Helena Marchmont

Poison Ivy by Helena Marchmont

Poison Ivy is the 12th in the Bunburry mysteries and I don't think it would be as good as a standalone - half of the fun is knowing the characters and how their relationships work. I was quite happy that Oscar is in town for most of this one, along with the rest of the usual cast. Emma and Alfie are planning a surprise party for Marg and Liz. At the hotel, Alfie meets a beautiful interesting woman. It turns out she's an old acquaintance of Oscar's and he's sure she's a murderer. This was another good entry in the series. The mystery had a twist or two. The characters are their delightful selves and I like how some of the newer ones have settled into recurring roles. It was a nice way to spend a few hours. ...
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A Game of Cones by Abby Collette

A Game of Cones by Abby Collette

I really want to like the Ice Cream Parlor series. Our main character, Wyn, runs an ice cream shop in northern Ohio and has a great family and supportive, if quirky, friends. This time she's dragged into the mystery when a friend/ former co-worker from New York comes to town to see her and ends up being a suspect in a murder investigation. A lot is going on in this one. There were a bunch of suspects since the dead man worked for a company proposing to open a mall in the town, which would totally change the nature of the downtown area - not for the better. Rory is in town to try to convince Wyn to come back to her old company in New York. Aunt Jack is back and trying to stick her nose into how the shop is run. The solution to the mystery was well done, even if getting there was a little meandering. I think...
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The Subject of Malice by Cynthia Kuhn

The Subject of Malice by Cynthia Kuhn

In The Subject of Malice, Lila leaves campus for a convention at nearby Tattered Star Ranch. The small press that will be publishing her book is there and she's meeting with her editor, in between attending panels, tours, and odd jobs as a member of the planning committee. Her rival, Simone, and Simone’s twin sister, Selene, are also attending the conference and apparently co-writing a book on the same author as Lila, which is both bad for Lila and unprofessional on Simone's part. It's all stressful and the keynote is maybe a jerk, even if he's an incredibly popular writer. And then one of the editors ends up dead. Lex is on hand to investigate. Time passes between the books in this series and Lila and Lex have been dating for over a year now. Anyway, he actually asks Lila to consult for the department, since she knows the people and has a better grasp on potential motives. Yeah,...
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