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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A Racing Murder by Frances Evesham

A Racing Murder by Frances Evesham

This is the second of the Ham Hill mysteries and, while it works as a stand-alone, you will definitely get to know the characters better by reading them in order. Adam is a pub owner and retired police officer and Imogene owns the local hotel. They are the main investigators, although this time around they have the help of a couple of friends, Steph, a reporter, and Dan, a painter. All four are competent and intelligent and each adds their own skills. Belinda is the main suspect in the death, and her desperate mother asks for Adam's help. The local authorities deem the death an accident due to lack of evidence, but the local chief inspector asks Adam to continue looking into the case, not convinced it wasn't murder. It turns out there are actually plenty of suspects, although no one has a really good motive. There are the investors who own the horse that Belinda rode. There are the grooms and...
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Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

Murder, She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

I enjoyed Killing in a Koi Pond once I got through the first few chapters. Jessica arrives in South Carolina and is immediately surrounded by not so great people, aside from her friend Dolores who is a nice lady. Everyone else, including Dolores' husband, is a bully, or mean, or rude. And then Willis is killed that night. It was just too quick an introduction to the suspects and the murder happened too soon. Once I got settled in though, the story was fun. Jessica is the Jessica we've known for years, nosey, friendly, talkative. The other characters are fleshed out well, and several have reasons to want Willis dead, but you may guess who the killer is before Jessica's reveal. There were several twists, but to be honest, I enjoyed the characters more than the actual plot, but I think that's okay for a Murder, She Wrote book. ...
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