Murder at the Magnolia Inn by Helena Marchmont

Murder at the Magnolia Inn by Helena Marchmont

I really enjoy the Bunburry stories. The characters are fun and quirky and the setting is a typical, lovely small town, with an incompetent police sergeant. This time around Alfie, Liz, Marge, and Emma agree to help the two women who are developing the old manor house into a hotel. At first, they're dealing with vandalism, then a man is killed. The characters are what bring me back to this series. Alfie is funny and in this one his women troubles are mostly set aside. Marge and Liz are smart older women and I wish I had their fudge recipe. Emma is caring and I don't know how/why she puts up with the sergeant. Oscar has an interesting part too. I'm hoping we start seeing him around Bunburry more. The mystery was a bit rushed, but the solution made sense and I liked that it took all of our investigators to find the various bits that came together in the end. I'm looking...
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The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander

The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander

Sloan works at a craft brewery in the Pacific Northwest. The town has a faux-Bavarian ambiance and attracts a lot of tourists. I enjoy spending time in the town and with Sloan and her friends and family. I love how the town actually likes its tourists and how the townspeople all know and look out for each other. Of course, quirky characters and a good setting can just about carry any cozy mystery - thankfully. Our victim here is a housekeeper at a local hotel, but that investigation is overshadowed by the return of a woman from Sloan's past claiming to be her aunt. Honestly, I hope we're finally done with all the stuff from Sloan's childhood. It all seems unlikely and over the top and detracts from a good series. If the author could just keep the focus on the murders in the town, and not veer off into organized crime or drugs or whatever, I'd be much happier. Sloan's present...
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Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison

Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison

I loved the setting in Death at High Tide. We have a 1920s hotel that was updated a bit too much in the 70s on a remote island in the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall. The island can only be reached at low tide and it's off season, so very few people are staying there. Like any good isolated setting, we have a limited number of people. Evie and her sister, Margot, are our main characters. Evie's husband has recently died, leaving Evie on pretty shaky financial ground. But, there were papers that suggested she may be the owner of the hotel, so Evie and Margot head off, to see the hotel and to get away for a weekend. The sisters are a good pair, opposites who nevertheless support each other when push comes to shove. We've got the husband and wife who own the hotel, a couple of staff, and an older, nosy woman who lives there...
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Deadly Cargo by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

Deadly Cargo by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards

American Kat Reilly and Brit Sir Harry Mortimer are settling into married life together in Mydworth. Kat no longer works in interesting ways for the American government, but Harry still works and has connections in Whitehall. Together, they have investigated some interesting cases, which they love doing. This time around, a local companies delivery trucks are being stopped and their contents, radios, stolen with some regularity. Kat and Harry use their training and intelligence to get to the bottom of the mystery. We've got some twists, turns, red herrings, and a glimpse at how technology was changing at the time. The story moves quickly, without any dull moments, and I was surprised by the whodunnit. It's always fun to spend time with Kat and Harry. ...
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Sinners and Saints by Helena Marchmont

Sinners and Saints by Helena Marchmont

Sinners and Saints was a fun addition to the series. And do read them in order. They are short and you get to know the colorful cast better that way. Here we get to know a bit more about the vicar, Philip, who has been a good friend to Alfie, but has a pretty big secret. This time around the crime is a theft and vandalism, and while Philip is a suspect, Alfie and the crew can't quite believe it. I don't understand why Harold Wilson is still a police sergeant, he's worse than incompetent. Yes, cozies often need bumbling police, but Wilson is a little over the edge. Thankfully, this series relies more on characters than plot. I was disappointed that the culprit didn't show up at all until the very end. He walks into the scene, admits he did it, and Emma takes care of the situation. Sorry for the spoiler, but you knew the vicar didn't do it....
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Deadlier than Fiction by Helena Marchmont

Deadlier than Fiction by Helena Marchmont

This time around much of the action is center on the new Bunburry public library Alfie has helped set up. It's in the massive home of Mrs. Radford-Jones, who is a wonderful character, caring and proper and rich. A widow comes to the "Bunberry Triangle" convinced her husband was frightened to death, so scared of something that he had a heart attack. Turns out the man was the second member of a book club to die. The story is good and I love the new characters. Alfie doesn't actually do much investigating, more stumbles onto things. And really should stop worrying about Betty, who has still not come back or communicated with him. Liz and Marge have very little to do this time around either. While I loved the new characters, the plot was a bit lacking. There was too much "we just happened to be talking about this yesterday," and "I just happened to wander past her empty cottage." Really...
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