Scandal at the Salty Dog by Josh Lanyon

Scandal at the Salty Dog by Josh Lanyon

I'm thoroughly enjoying this series. It's light and fun with just enough tension thrown in. Of course, it does have everything a cozy should have - an amateur detective, a bookstore, a dog, a quaint town, quirky secondary characters, and a sexy love interest. And of course, Ellery finds himself in danger on a semi-regular basis. This is a series best read in order. While the mystery is confined to this book, you'll understand the characters' backgrounds and relationships better if you start from the beginning. This time around Ellery finds himself in the middle of two mysteries. First, someone's breaking into the Salty Dog pub and stealing food. Second, Mrs. Blackwell is being haunted, well, maybe not haunted - Ellery doesn't believe in ghosts, but someone uninvited has definitely been in her house. Of course, the two are connected, but it takes a bit to figure out how. Ellery and Jack are finally kinda dating in this one, which is nice....
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Mystery at the Masquerade by Josh Lanyon

Mystery at the Masquerade by Josh Lanyon

Mystery at the Masquerade is the third in this engaging cozy mystery series. I have to say reading them in order really is best to give you a full picture of the characters and the town of Pirates Cove. This quick, entertaining read finds our amateur sleuth, bookshop owner Ellery Page, dragged into another murder investigation. This time the murder occurs in the middle of the Marauder’s Masquerade, the town's most highly anticipated social event of the year, and, again, Ellery is there when the body is discovered. For once, he's not the main suspect but a new friend is. I thought the mystery was well-done. Honestly, this is the best in the series so far. Yes, maybe it was a bit easy to figure out the culprit, but it is a cozy, the characters and relationships are as important as the plot. We get to know more about Jack in this one and I like how the relationship between Ellery...
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Secret at Skull House by Josh Lanyon

Secret at Skull House by Josh Lanyon

Secret at Skull House is #2 in the Secrets and Scrabble series. It could work as a stand-alone but as with so many series it's best to read Murder at Pirate's Cove first to get a better feel for the characters and setting, Things are starting to settle down for Ellery. That is until the news that a famous author of supernatural mysteries – Brandon Abbott – has purchased Skull House, a large, dilapidated house outside of town. Well, almost everyone is excited. Nora, Ellery's assistant, had hoped the place would be the new home of the local historical society. Ellery is also not thrilled. He and Brandon had been in a relationship several years earlier that didn't end well. Ellery doesn't want to see him again, but it's a small town and that's impossible. It only gets worse when Brandon is found dead on the rocks below the house. Once again, Ellery is the main suspect and starts asking...
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Murder at Pirate’s Cove by Josh Lanyon

Murder at Pirate’s Cove by Josh Lanyon

Ellery Page moves to Pirate Cove after inheriting a book store and a huge house from his great great great aunt Eudora, whom he had never actually met. It's actually a great time for Ellery to start a new life, after his ex cheated on him and his screenwriting career is not going great. But of course, it's not smooth sailing. The house is in need of endless repairs and the bookshop is in the red. Ellery is facing pressure from Trevor Maples, a mayoral candidate to sell, but he doesn't want to. And then Trevor ends up dead, murdered, laying in a pool of blood in the bookstore. And, of course, Ellery is the main suspect and as in any good cozy mystery starts investigating on his own. I like Ellery. He's charming and funny and sweet and I love his dog. Police Chief Carson I'm not sure about yet. He's a good guy, steady and honest, and the...
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Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency by Daisy James

Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency by Daisy James

Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency, was a sweet, fun book to read with a cup of hot chocolate or my favorite coffee, cinnamon sugar cookie, which just returned to store shelves for the season. I love a good holiday romance and this one hit all the right notes. We have a lovely, snowy setting, happy couples, Christmas trees, cookies, and mulled wine. This is the third in the series and starts right in with the lead-up to Phoebe and Sam’s Christmas wedding. This is first I've read and it did take me a little while to feel comfortable with who the characters are and their relationships to each other. Once I got to know them, though, it's a fabulous group, fun to spend time with. Lexie is, temporarily, a wedding planner, and she wants this wedding to be perfect. I loved all of the activities leading up to the wedding party, like decorating Christmas trees and making gingerbread creations....
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Chaos by Iris Johansen

Chaos by Iris Johansen

It's been a long time since I've read any romantic suspense and I don't think I've read anything by Johansen before. Our main characters here are CIA agent Alisa Flynn and billionaire inventor Gabe Korgan. They both want to be in charge and while they bicker a lot, the attraction is clear. And that's one thing that sometimes annoys me about romantic suspense: we're in the grimy wilderness, desperate to stop the bad guy and save the teenage girls, but my mind just keeps going to sex. Really?  As a couple, though, they're pretty good. They're both strong, a little short on trust, and long on independence. The bad guys are really awful human beings. The story is violent, with rapes and beatings, but not overly graphic. And while you know Alisa and Gabe will rescue the girls, even Sasha, Alisa's ward, the tension lies is how they'll do it and how much harm will be done to the girls...
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