Once Upon a Murder by Samantha Larsen

Once Upon a Murder by Samantha Larsen

I enjoyed the first of the Lady Librarian mysteries, A Novel Disguise. Tiffany was interesting and bold and determined. Her relationship with Samir was fun. I wasn't quite as enamored by Once Upon a Murder. Tiffany is fairly happily employed as the librarian for the Duchess of Beaufort. It all goes awry when she finds the frozen dead body of former footman Mr. Bernard Coram just outside her cottage. Tiffany is quickly cleared as a suspect, but Samir, Tiffany's friend and love interest, is arrested. The mystery was well-done, with several suspects and enough clues to lead Tiffany in the right direction. The characters are great, whether they're likable or not. But, I don't need to hear about Tiffany's cramps or her longing for children. I'd rather not have children or baby's in my mysteries and in this one, I found them a distraction rather than adding value to the book. Yes, the kids added some humor, but I'd rather have the...
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Rhythm and Clues by Olivia Blacke

Rhythm and Clues by Olivia Blacke

Rhythm and Clues is the third Record Shop Mystery, featuring sisters Tansey, Maggie, and Juni, owners of Sip and Spin Records, a coffee and record shop in a small town near Austin, Texas. The shop is barely making a profit, but the sisters have been approached by a potential investor. The investor, Zach, and his partner invite Juni and Beau, a local cop to a hockey game, but later that night, Zach is killed during a major storm, found dead in a car that wrecked outside of the record shop. Juni, of course, can't help getting involved in the case. I enjoy spending time with Juni and her sisters. They each have their own personalities and they work together well. The setup worked well. The storm flooded parts of town, made some roads impassable, and knocked out the power. The killer is stuck in town. Juni has several suspects, with clues that point in different directions. The plot flows well and...
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A Killer Romance by Maggie Blackburn

A Killer Romance by Maggie Blackburn

A Killer Romance is the third book in the Beach Read series, but the first I've read. Summer Merriweather owns the Beach Reads bookstore which she inherited along with her cottage from her mother, Hildy. A Killer Romance begins with Summer tripping and twisting her ankle. Because of this, she does not even get to meet the guest speaker for the Valentine's Day Festival before the woman is murdered. The mystery, the characters, and the dialogue are all good. Summer's parrot is adorable. For me though, there was just too much talk about the covid pandemic and how life on the island was changed. Also, I understand that Summer was in pain from her ankle, but there was too much emphasis on pain relief pills for me. I just got annoyed. And there were several characters' reactions that just didn't feel realistic. And I felt like the whodunnit relied too much on stereotypes. Overall, I was disappointed. I listened to the audio....
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A Midnight Puzzle by Gigi Pandian

A Midnight Puzzle by Gigi Pandian

A Midnight Puzzle is the third in the Secret Staircase series, and I do think they are best read in order. Tempest, a former stage magician, is enjoying her work with her father's Secret Staircase Construction company. So, when a customer who is filing a lawsuit against the company is murdered, Tempest decides she has to investigate to save the family business. This time around the connection to Tempest's family is clear. The man is murdered by a booby trap at the theater Tempest is renting for one final show, the theater where Tempest's mom disappeared. I'll be honest, this overarching mystery about the family curse has not been my favorite part of the first two books. I'm glad we get a solution here, but for me, this book just wasn't as fun as the last one. And I did guess the killer before it was revealed, although there were a couple of decent twists before we got there. I listened to...
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Death by Demo by Callie Carpenter

Death by Demo by Callie Carpenter

It's always fun to catch a new series at the beginning. Jaime has recently divorced due to her husband's infidelity and she is starting over again. Thanks to a bad prenup all she has for the years she spent working with her husband in their construction company is one very rundown house. She decides to go ahead and renovate rather than sell it as is. But of course, when she knocks down one of the interior (non-structural) walls, she finds a corpse. When the cops designate her house a crime scene, she decides she has to figure out who the killer is as soon as possible so she can get back to work on the project. The mystery is put together well. We've got several suspects and a couple of the clues are right up Jaime's alley. Jaime is a good character, rediscovering herself and finding her strengths. She also knows everyone in town, which makes it easier for her to...
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The Sign of Four Spirits by Vicki Delany

The Sign of Four Spirits by Vicki Delany

This is the 9th book in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery series. I have read a few of the books, but not all, and I don’t think it hindered my enjoyment of this one. This time around a psychic fair comes to town which brings in more customers than Gemma could have predicted – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was an outspoken proponent of Spiritualism after all. Gemma, against her better judgment, agrees to join her friends at a séance held by Madame Levalier. During the séance, there is a commotion in the library, the lights go out and when they are turned on, Madame Levalier is dead, stabbed in the neck with a hat pin. Obviously, someone in the room is a killer, and Gemma is anxious to discover who. I like Gemma. She’s like most cozy sleuths – owns a bookstore, has two dogs, has a detective boyfriend, and lives in a cute small town. She’s very observant but can...
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