Body at Buccaneer’s Bay by Josh Lanyon

Body at Buccaneer’s Bay by Josh Lanyon

Ellery once again finds a dead body, this time while diving with his boyfriend, Chief Police Officer Jack Carson. The body is sealed into an old diving suit they find in a shipwreck. Then, Odette Wallace, a wealthy widow, hires Ellery to find out who is trying to kill her. Apparently, she's a big believer in the ability of amateur sleuths. Of course, the two mysteries are connected The mystery was interesting. Everyone on the island has an idea about who the man in the suit was, but no proof. Odette and the step-children are not the nicest people, and Ellery probably shouldn't have taken the case but he needs the money. Ellery figures out the solution in the end, just a step or two behind Jack. The wrap-up was a bit anti-climactic though. Ellery is his usual smart, but bumbling self. Jack is very competent, and to me his concerns regarding Elliott getting swept up in cases make sense. I...
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Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder by Tina Kashian

Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder is the fifth in the series, but the first I've read. I never felt lost. The author did a good job of introducing the characters and giving me enough background to let me feel like I knew them well. At the same time, I might have cared more about the relationship between Lucy and her boyfriend, Azad, which took up a lot of the book. The mystery itself was well-done. The victim was not a nice person and there were plenty of suspects in town. Lucy had a reasonable reason to be investigating - one of her friends is the prime suspect. The clues were placed well, along with a few red herrings. The story started off well, but the middle was a bit too slow and plodding. I did have a guess who the killer was, so that might have been a bit too obvious since I'm rarely right. I think this is the last of...
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A Corpse for Christmas by Rena Leith

A Corpse for Christmas by Rena Leith

A Corpse for Christmas is the third in the Cass Peake series, but the first I've read. For me, it took a while to get all the characters straight, and I think if I had read the series in order, that wouldn't have been an issue. I also would have felt like I knew at least Cass and the other recurring characters, including Doris the ghost, better. Cass takes on the job of doing a new video for a local college and hires some young people to help her out. It's the holidays so the campus is pretty empty, making it easier to film locations, but while working, Cass and her crew stumble onto a murder. Her obligatory cop boyfriend, George, doesn’t like her getting involved, but Cass of course can't let it go, especially when a neighbor asks for her help. There's a lot going on here. We have the project for the local college; it's Christmas so Cass' brother...
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A Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer

A Murder Yule Regret by Winnie Archer

A Murder Yule Regret is the 7th in the series, but the first I read. It worked fine as a stand-alone, but I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more if I knew the characters better. Ivy is a good character, curious, caring. She's a freelance photographer and an assistant in the bakery. Her photos are important to solving the case, but to be honest I was more interested in the bakery and the bread than I was about her photography business. I'm not sure if that's because I haven't read earlier ones in the series or not. Or because I really love bread and this book has inspired me to try some baking of my own - or at least plan to try some baking of my own. I have a recipe and ingredients, just haven't started yet. The first victim is a "journalist" found dead at the bottom of a cliff during a party held by film...
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Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah

Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off by Darci Hannah

The Murder at the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off cover is absolutely adorable and honestly may have been the reason I picked it up. It's the second in the Beacon Bakeshop series but worked fine for me as a stand-alone. Lyndsey wants a perfect Christmas, she's got tons of lights for her lighthouse bakeshop, her family is coming, and her bakery is filled with all kinds of goodies. Then, of course, things start to go awry. The town announces a Christmas cookie contest with a celebrity judge, hoping to draw more tourists and their money. Every business that wants to participate, and everyone does, must have a signature cookie set out for visitors, then there's voting and a live finale. Except, most business owners don't bake or don't have time to, so Lyndsey's phone starts ringing off the hook for "signature cookies." She is overwhelmed until Carol Nichols arrives out of the blue and takes over most of the baking. And then the...
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The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder by Marla A. White

The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder by Marla A. White

Mel is a former cop, now the owner of the Babbling Brook Inn. When she finds a guest dead in front of the fireplace in her lobby, her instincts won't let her believe it was a simple heart attack. The Starlight Mint Surprise Murder is a fun, Christmassy novella. Mel is a good character, smart, tenacious. She's afraid the death will scare guests away from her inn, so decides she has to do some investigating with the help of a local restaurant owner, Jackson, and the town doctor. At the same time, she's trying to perfect her grandma's cookie recipe for the town's contest. A good cozy mystery sleuth always has to juggle real life and solving the crime. I was suspicious of the killer pretty quickly and it turned out I was right. That didn't stop me from enjoying the book though. The clues are well-placed and the story moves along quickly. We had a couple of suspects and Mel tries...
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