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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The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

The Book of Cold Cases is atmospheric, suspenseful, and a bit spooky. Shea Collins works as a receptionist in a medical office, but her true passion is her website, the Book of Cold Cases. She writes about unsolved murders, a project inspired by her own abduction as a child. Divorced and alone, she has few friends aside from her sister, Esther, and an ex-cop, Michael, who helps her with research. Then a client comes into the office: Beth Greer, who was charged and acquitted for the murders of two men in 1977. When Shea asks rich and aloof Beth for an interview, Beth surprisingly agrees. Shea gets sucked into the case, talking to Beth, Beth's lawyer, the police officer who was assigned to the case back then, anyone she can find with a connection. But the closer Shea gets to the truth, the more troubling and threatening the past becomes. We've got two timelines, 2017 when the book is set and forty...
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What the Cat Knew by P.D. Workman

What the Cat Knew by P.D. Workman

What the Cat Knew is a paranormal cozy mystery that totally hooked me. Reg is tough, smart, and can run a good con, but is caring and loyal underneath it. She's setting up as a medium "for entertainment purposes only" in Black Sands, Florida. She has a couple of problems. First, turns out she actually is a medium and can contact the dead. Second, the man she contacts isn't actually dead. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. We've got our eccentric characters, this time witches and probably other magical creatures. Our amateur sleuth has a legitimate reason for investigating, apparently she's the only one who knows the man is still alive, but since he's in a coma she can still make contact. We've got a touch of romance, maybe, but I'm hoping that fades away. And there's Reg's cat, who I loved. The plot moves along quickly and it was a lot of fun. I'm not quite clear on what kind...
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The Valentine Dine or Die by J.B. Michaels

The Valentine Dine or Die by J.B. Michaels

I love a good holiday-themed cozy and The Valentine Dine or Die is only 99ยข for Kindle. I did read the first in the series last year, but this one could work fine as a standalone. Mac and Millie, our ex-cop and witch, are back in another fun mystery. What could be better than an interactive mystery dinner experience, especially for Valentine's Day? Mac can't pass up free tickets to the dinner, especially since he hasn't bought a present yet. Of course, since this is a cozy mystery, when the lights go out at dinner, someone ends up well and truly dead. Maybe it's a suicide, probably not. Mac and Millie make a good team, they have some cute banter and they actually trust each other. Vance, Mac's brother, is handling the case for the cops, but he's hitting some dead ends, and Mac doesn't have to follow the rules, which makes his help useful. The characters, even the secondary ones,...
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The Christmas Walk Caper by J.B. Michaels

The Christmas Walk Caper by J.B. Michaels

The Christmas Walk Caper features Mac O'Malley, a retired Chicago cop, who is attempting to write a memoir of his last big case. When Mac learns that Patricia, the owner of The Tiny Wanderer, has been found dead in her home on the morning of the annual Christmas Walk, his cop instincts are telling him she didn't just die of old age. If the local cops, including his brother Vince, don't agree, maybe he and his girlfriend, Millie, can do some investigating on their own. The small town at Christmas setting was charming. The Christmas Walk sounds like an event I'd love to participate in, touring people's decorated homes. For a novella, the mystery was well-done. We had a couple of suspects and clues but not so many that the conclusion felt rushed. I liked Mac, although he was pretty quick to discount the abilities of the local police. I found the fact that he started investigating as a way to put...
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Strange Frequencies by Peter Bebergal

Strange Frequencies by Peter Bebergal

I picked up Strange Frequencies for RIP's Peril of the Real. When it comes to fiction, I stay in the mystery aisles most of the time. Nonfiction, however, can be about anything. I can't say that I was really interested in the intersection of technology and the supernatural, but I can find most topics interesting and learn fascinating bits and pieces, especially when the writer/speaker presents it well. Bebergal covers a wide variety of topics, from golems to seances to electronic voice phenomena and he does it from the view of maybe a hopeful skeptic. He researches, but he also experiments. He talks about the history around certain devices or myths and contacts, when possible, experts. He also goes to the seance, tags along with the photographer, builds a Tesla radio, uses his dad's old tape recorder. My one complaint is that it jumps from topic to topic. I would have liked there to be more to it, not just...
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