Witches in the Kitchen by Danielle Garrett

Witches in the Kitchen by Danielle Garrett

Witches in the Kitchen is the first of the in the Magic Inn Paranormal Mysteries series, which is apparently a spin-off of the Beechwood Harbor Magic Mysteries series. I hav never read the Harbor series and didn't feel like I missed anything. I guess some of the secondary characters are from that series originally, but I felt like everyone was introduced well. It's a fun read. Our main character, Blair, discovers she's a witch by accidentally turning into a cat when she is in a life-threatening situation. The Supernatural Protection Agency steps in and she is moved to Beechwood Inn for her safety and to learn more about controlling her powers. I liked Blair. The life she's been leading up to now is a bit boring and a bit lonely. But learning that magic is real has thrown her for quite a loop. She's sweet and nice and caring. The inn's owners, Holly and Adam, are good mentors and the other inn...
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Lament at Loon Landing by Josh Lanyon

Lament at Loon Landing by Josh Lanyon

Lament at Loon Landing brings a once-famous folk singer to Pirate's Cove. Unfortunately, her comeback performance is surrounded by death threats and dangerous close calls. Ellery's close friend, Dylan who is on the festival committee, asks him to help find out if the threats are real. Ellery's not sure what he's actually supposed to be doing, but he asks questions and tries to keep an eye on things. Then, Ellery find Dylan's girlfriend dead and Dylan becomes the main suspect in her murder. I like Ellery a lot. He's snarky and nice and has an adorable dog. He's also getting used to the whole investigating things, along with the Silver Sleuths. His boyfriend, Jack, is Chief of Police, and of course that makes things both more complicated and easier. I am awfully tired of the cop/detective as the boyfriend/love interest in cozy mysteries. I enjoyed my trip to Pirates Cove. The mystery was fine, but I mostly enjoy the quirky characters...
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Hard Dough Homocide by Olivia Matthews

Hard Dough Homocide by Olivia Matthews

Hard Dough Homocied picks up where the first in the series left off, with the Murray family busy running their family bakery. They've been asked to cater a local high school principal's retirement party, a woman Lyndsay's mom, Della, dislikes. And of course, when the woman dies in the bakery, Della becomes the chief suspect in the murder investigation. Lyndsay decides she has to investigate to clear her mom's name and save the business - being connected with two murders just months apart is definitely not good for customer retention. I can't tell if the cops are actually incompetent or not, since we only see things thru Lyndsay's eyes. There are several suspects and at least from Lyndsay's point of view, the cops aren't investigating them all as well as they should. We've got a few clues that definitely point to people aside from Della. Lyndsay and her family are very close. They always have each others' backs. The family even joins...
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Death in Kenya by M. M. Kaye

Death in Kenya by M. M. Kaye

The colonial Kenya setting here is difficult. Death in Kenya is set at the tail end of the Mau Mau Uprising and focuses entirely on the British, how they live, how they view the people and land of Africa, and their ambitions, which makes sense given the author's background (see below). That portion of the story has not aged well. Aside from that, the setting is lovely and exotic, beautiful and dangerous. Victoria Caryll receives a letter from her Aunt Em asking her to return to Flamingo, her aunt's plantation in Kenya where she spent her childhood. Victoria, of course, leaves right away for Kenya but when she arrives, she learns that someone in the household has been murdered. The mystery was well done with plenty of suspects among the local British farmers and managers. I know that we often say mysteries have twists we didn't see coming, but this one did catch me off guard. I was surprised by who the...
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Bout of Books 37

Bout of Books 37

Bout of Books 37 starts today! Here's the info: The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 37 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. FROM THE BOUT OF BOOKS TEAM Reading-in-place times, or reading sprints, happen daily on Twitter. If you don’t have Twitter, make note of these times and report your reading progress on your platform of choice. All reading-in-place times last 30 minutes.  10 a.m Eastern | 7 a.m. Pacific  4 p.m. Eastern | 1 p.m. Pacific  10:30 p.m. Eastern | 7:30 p.m. Pacific I’ll be keeping progress here, hopefully. I’ll also be on Twitter and Instragram. https://twitter.com/carolsnotebook/status/1655948733572587524 https://twitter.com/carolsnotebook/status/1656295744947585024 https://twitter.com/carolsnotebook/status/1656685016401817601 ...
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Still Life in Brunswick Stew by Larissa Reinhart

Still Life in Brunswick Stew by Larissa Reinhart

First, I have to admit I had no idea what Brunswick Stew is. Apparently, it's a Southern dish, a tomato-based stew filled with local beans, vegetables, and originally small game meat such as squirrel or rabbit, though today often chicken or smoked pork. The Brunswick Stew Cook-Off is a major draw at the annual festival in Sidewinder, Georgia where Cherry, a painter, and her friend Eloise Parker, who makes Raku pottery, have set up an art booth. It's not a good day. A bunch of people end up with food poisoning and it kills Eloise. Cherry, of course, is convinced it wasn't an accident and is determined to figure out who killed Eloise. The mystery is not the strongest part of the book. I guessed who the killer was fairly early, but really didn't care so much. The characters and the small-town antics are what drives the book. Cherry is a mess, but likable. She's broke, her love life's a disaster,...
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