Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews

Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews

Against the Currant is the first in a new cozy mystery series set in a newly opened Caribbean bakery. Lyndsay Murray's dream has always been to open a bakery/eatery featuring food and recipes from Grenada where her family came from. It's finally opening day and everything is going wonderfully until in storms Claudio Febrizi, another local baker who does not want any competition. He causes a scene in front of a bakery full of customers and Lyndsay ends up arguing with him and asking him not so nicely to leave. When Claudio turns up dead the next day, Lindsay finds herself as the number one suspect. Lyndsay and her family are close and it was nice to see their connection and how supportive they are to each other both in work and in their personal lives. We get a sense of family, but of community too. We see how the community can band together to support local businesses and culture. I...
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Murder at an Irish Castle by Ellie Brannigan

Murder at an Irish Castle by Ellie Brannigan

I wanted to love Murder at an Irish Castle. On her 30th birthday, Rayne's boyfriend leaves her, taking all of her money and the wedding dresses she's made with him. As the police search for him, Rayne heads to Ireland for her uncle's funeral and finds out she's inherited a castle, but with stipulations. And the uncle's death was murder. Rayne was fine enough as a character on paper, kind of a fish out of water, but creative and determined. I just never really connected to her. Why didn't she check the weather before she packed for Ireland? Why does she not have any normal clothes? Yes, I get that she loves fashion and comes from Hollywood, but it's no wonder her cousin, Ciare, calls her princess. Ciare thought she was going to inherit the castle and is angry that Rayne got it instead. But Ciare is angry and mean and prickly almost the entire book. It's a bit too much....
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Sun, Sand, Murder by John Keyse-Walker

Sun, Sand, Murder by John Keyse-Walker

Sun, Sand, Murder is set on Anegada, the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands. Unlike the rest of the BVI, it's low and flat, formed by coral and limestone. Teddy Creque is the Special Constable on the quiet island. He's also the customs officer, works the night shift at the power plant, and takes tourists on fishing outings occasionally. Honestly, the "law enforcement" part of his day is probably the easiest, right up until a dead body is found on the beach at Spanish Camp. I have never been to the Virgin Islands or any tropical island, but Sun, Sand, Murder did a good job of making me feel like I was there with its descriptions of the sandy beaches, the feel of the sun, the smell of the breeze. Like at any tourist destination, there is a solid difference between tourists and locals, and those who are in between, like the dead man. Teddy is not a great...
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A Good Day to Pie by Misha Popp

A Good Day to Pie by Misha Popp

I loved A Good Day to Pie. This is the second in the series featuring pie baker Daisy Ellery. I would suggest reading the first, Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies, before starting this one. Daisy has magic that she can bake into her pies and she most often uses that skill to kill abusive men. This time around Daisy has entered a baking contest, apparently like the Great British Bake Off which I've never seen - I've watched enough competitions on the Food Network to get the idea though. It turns out that one of the judges is a man she is supposed to deliver a murder pie to after the contest, which is a bit worrying. It becomes an even bigger problem when the man ends up dead before she can even give him the pie. Now she needs to find out who killed him and whether there is any way the cops might be able to connect Pies...
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A Perilous Pal by Laura Bradford

A Perilous Pal by Laura Bradford

A Perilous Pal is the second in the Friend for Hire mystery series. Emma Westlake is the "friend for hire" and I think it's definitely better to read the first one before starting this. It will give you a much better feel for Emma and the returning characters. Emma barely has enough time to meet Kim Felder, her new client, when Kim gets arrested for her estranged husband’s murder. Kim didn’t see it coming when her husband left her for his secretary and she wrote in her journal her feelings about her husband’s betrayal. It was what she put in her journal, tons of ideas for how to kill Roger, that led to her arrest for Roger’s murder. Emma believes Kim is innocent, so she, Dottie, and Stephanie set out to prove it. Of course, Emma's love interest, Deputy Jack Riordan, is not thrilled with her interference. I'm not sure about Emma's business plan. I love the friend for hire idea,...
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Murder at Feathers & Flair by Lee Strauss

Murder at Feathers & Flair by Lee Strauss

Felicia, Ginger's sister-in-law, asks for Ginger's help in finding in hunting down a missing actor, but that is rather left to the side when someone is killed at an event Ginger is hosting at her dress shop, Feathers & Flair. There's a lot going on here, missing actors, a stolen necklace, a dead society lady, a coded message. Ginger is her usual clever, fashionable self. Once again, she's working with Chief Inspector Basil Reed -whose wife is back in the picture. I could do without the "will they - won't they" but looking ahead it seems like that situation will be resolved soon. It's a fun mystery with I enjoy the '20s details. I've been enjoying listening to the audio versions of this series. They're relatively short and lively. ...
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