Death Over Easy by Maddie Day – Audiobook (Tantor Audio)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – 4 stars

The Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival in Beanblossom, IN, is underway, and Robbie Jordan, owner of Pans n’ Pancakes, is excited since the venue will provide opportunities for a few musicians and dancers to stay at her newly opened B&B. Her boyfriend, Abe, is one of the performers at the festival, and she feels proud watching him from the audience. But when she and other observers see him arguing with one of the band members, and then that same member is found dead the next day, Robbie gets involved in the investigation since the suspects include her boyfriend, her father and a couple of guests staying at her small B&B.

Death Over Easy is Book five in the Country Store Mystery series. I enjoyed it despite having absolutely no knowledge of bluegrass music, banjos and whatnot. One of my favorite things about this series is revisiting with recurring characters, particularly Lt. Buck Bird, a tall, lanky Detective with a bottomless pit appetite and a deep Hoosier accent.

I liked that several of the characters were potential suspects, and it was interesting how various characters had different opinions of the victim; some thought she was a great person, others thought she was awful. I kept trying to ascertain her true nature. And even though I had an inkling of who the murderer was fairly early on, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story.

I had a niggle with the occasional instances of sexual innuendo in the book. It was unnecessary. And since the audio narrator had a very senior voice those instances sounded a little ridiculous. The flirty exchanges between Robbie and Abe sounded like an overgrown school girl with a dirty old man and it was not appealing.

An issue I had with the audio narrator, Laural Merlington, was that her voice was not that of a person in her twenties or thirties, which I believe was the age of the protagonist. She sounded, at the very least, to be a woman in her sixties, maybe even seventies. It’s not that the narrator wasn’t perfectly capable or articulate, it’s just that she sounded much older than some of the characters, and as a consequence I found it difficult to connect with some of them. I kept thinking to myself that she’d be a lot more convincing as the voice of Jessica Fletcher, or possibly the book (not movie) version of Agatha Raisin—but not Robbie Jordan. I’d wished I had a paperback copy in addition to the audio version so that I could switch up when her voice began to harass me.

All things considered, Death Over Easy was an enjoyable cozy mystery and I will be on the lookout for further additions to the series.

Thank you, Tantor Audio, for a free download of Death Over Easy. In exchange I have provided an honest review.

Thanks for visiting everyone. 🤗

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**TOP PICK** Midnight Snacks Are Murder by Libby Klein – (A Poppy McAllister Mystery – Book 2)

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😂😂😂😂😂 5-laughing faces

Although this is book 2 in the series, it’s not necessary at all to read the first book to enjoy it.

Midnight Snacks Are Murder is HILARIOUS!! There are consistent laugh-out-loud moments throughout the entire book. Think of this: a pair of rival, macho men vying for the protagonist’s affection; an anxious little old lady who keeps popping pills whenever a stressful event occurs; a general contractor named Smitty who keeps breaking things and then declaring, “I can fix that!”; a diva ex-mother-in-law who gets on everyone’s nerves and can’t get the contractor’s name right; a cat named Figaro with a mind of his own; and a host of wacky, secondary characters with their own peculiarities that lend to the humorous tone of this book. A Cozy mystery masterpiece.

Here’s a glimpse into the plot….

Poppy McAllister’s 80-ish great aunt Ginny has been under a lot of stress lately. As a consequence of all of the renovations happening in her Queen Anne Victorian in Cape May, NJ, to transform it into the Butterfly House B&B, aunt Ginny’s nerves have been on edge. Her doctor has prescribed some medication to calm her nerves and help her sleep at night. But when the side-effects from the medication take her on a sleepwalking sojourn into her neighbors’ homes, nibbling on their snacks and pilfering knick-knacks, aunt Ginny finds herself a suspect in a local resident’s murder. The victim’s ransacked kitchen resembles other neighbors’ who’ve had a nightly visit from aunt Ginny. But could she really commit a murder in her sleepwalking state, or is someone looking to frame the little old lady?

I loved this cozy!! I think there must have been at least one comical line or incident on every page!! The mystery was so cleverly crafted that I didn’t come close to guessing the culprit. One teensy issue I had with the book was that in some instances a few of the suspects seemed a little too forthcoming with information when Poppy questioned them. She was just an ordinary person, so if I were them I would be thinking, “who’s this chick to be asking me all of these questions?!!” But this little niggle pales in comparison to the hilarity and overall enjoyment of the book, so I subtracted nothing from my 5-star rating.

Midnight Snacks are Murder was an excellent read. I highly recommend this book for lovers of humorous cozies with villains that keep you guessing to the very end.

Many thanks to the author for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which I have given.

If you need a good laugh, read this book y’all. Have a great day, and enjoy your weekend. 😊

Review: Two Down, Bun to Go


Two Down, Bun to Go by H.Y. Hanna My rating: 5 of 5 stars

💜💜💜💜💜

Professor Quentin Barrow is found dead, stabbed to death with an Egyptian Dagger. Gemma’s former Oxford chum and still good friend, Seth Browning, is charged with the murder. Seth was seen arguing with professor Barrow before the body was discovered. A staunch advocate for the homeless and other such causes, Seth was getting pushback from the professor regarding a piece of college donated property that would have benefited the homeless. Barrow’s pompous, elitist attitude disgusted Seth, and his repulsion for the man was evident. Gemma knows her friend could not have committed the murder, although she must admit his current odd, uncharacteristic and mysterious behavior is quite alarming. But how can she prove his innocence when there is so much circumstantial evidence pointing to Seth? With the help of handsome CID Detective and former boyfriend, Devlin O’Connor, contending beau, Lincoln Green, and the meddlesome but lovable Old Biddies, Gemma uncovers a slew of others who might have killed the unpopular professor. The question is, which one of them actually did?

I don’t know how H.Y. Hanna manages it, but each successive book in her Oxford Tearoom Mystery series is better than the last. Don’t let the whimsical, cute little cover fool you. They rival other renowned and beloved writers of British mysteries hands down. Her characters’ magnetic personalities captivate; from the endearing to the villainous, they’re all equally entertaining. The way in which she describes her mother’s witty charms and hapless adventures, the antics of the Old Biddies, and little Muesli the cat, never fails to elicit chuckles. The plot moves along effortlessly as the reader is immersed in English life and subtly educated about the peculiarities and uniqueness of the University of Oxford—a real treat and added bonus.

Read it, you’ll LOVE it. And if you want an even greater experience, do yourself a favor and listen to the audio version. The narrator does a stupendous job of bringing the characters to life. Very, very highly recommended.

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Review: Drape Expectations

Drape Expectations
Drape Expectations by Karen Rose Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Drape Expectations is more than a cozy mystery. The family dynamic factors strongly in this book. Our sleuth, Caprice De Luca, is determined to find the killer who murdered her rock star friend Ace Richland’s girlfriend, Alanna Goodwin. Since Ace finds the body it’s only natural that suspicion surrounds him, but Caprice feels in her heart that her friend could never commit murder. He may have a bad temper and all, but murder? Nah.  Besides, it’s beginning to look like others in Alanna Goodwin’s life had a motive for murder. There’s a mysterious child, an alleged affair and even sabotage involved in this murder case. As Caprice skillfully goes about piecing together clues that will ultimately lead her to the culprit, she also makes an addition to her pet family, helps her nana through a health crisis, mends broken family ties involving an estranged family member, and finally chooses which of her two suitors is the right man to spend her life with. There was a very evocative moment where the author did a superb job of conveying the feelings of the characters when Caprice makes a choice between her two men.  I loved that scene. All the while we contentedly meet up with Caprice’s friends and family members from prior books in the series, watch as her dog Lady and cat Sophia adjust to the new member of their family, Mirabelle, the shy kitty who was left behind when her neglectful owner Alanna was murdered, and wince as Caprice’s life is threatened as she unselfishly puts herself in one precarious situation after another to help clear her friend Ace’s name.
In conclusion, this cozy mystery is cozy in more ways than one. You will enjoy going along for the ride to find out who killed Alanna Goodwin, but you will also find pleasure in peering into the daily events of an amateur sleuth who loves life, love, her profession, her family and her pets. It’s for this reason that Drape Expectations was a major hit with me and I recommend it highly.
Thank you Karen Rose Smith for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review which I have given.

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Review: Tempest in a Teapot

Tempest in a Teapot
Tempest in a Teapot by Amanda Cooper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sophie Taylor’s Manhattan restaurant, In Fashion, has failed, so she returns to Gracious Grove in upstate NY where her grandmother runs Auntie Rose’s Victorian Tea House to get a little respite and rethink her future goals. Sophie’s nana is getting up in age and can use her help running the much beloved teahouse. Sophie’s glad to be of help even as one of the upcoming venues includes a wedding shower tea for her longtime friend Cissy Peterson. The problem is Cissy’s own grandmother, Thelma Mae Earnshaw, owns a competing tearoom nearby, La Belle Époque, and Thelma Mae, former friend of Rose Freemont, has been holding a grudge against her for over 60 years for supposedly stealing Thelma Mae’s beau when they were just teenagers. How can Cissy do that to her own grandmother? Well, only the best for Cissy Peterson, and that means Auntie Rose’s wins out over the vastly inferior La Belle Époque. Even so, to appease Thelma Mae and assuage her own guilty conscience, Cissy commissions her grandmother to host an engagement tea for her at La Belle Époque. Who knew that Vivienne Whittaker, Cissy’s soon to be mother-in-law, would meet her demise at the engagement tea to the horror of everyone present. Who could possibly want Vivienne Whitakker dead? Perhaps a lot of people? Or was the intended victim someone other than Vivienne and did she just happen to get in the way?

I enjoyed this cozy….particularly the setting and cast of characters which ranged from crooked politicians to sweet old grandmothers to embittered relatives to jilted lovers. I had a fun time watching Sophie as amateur sleuth snooping around and asking markedly pointed questions to find out once and for all who killed Vivienne Whittaker. This was a first in the series, and although I found that in order to keep the list of characters straight in my head I had to read this one at a slightly slower pace, that was just fine since it was worth the extra time spent on it. I found that I really liked Thelma Mae Earnshaw’s character, Cissy’s crotchety old grandmother who I found hilarious. One of my favorite lines from her when being questioned by the detective regarding the murder went like this….

DETECTIVE:  “Mrs. Earnshaw, can you tell me in your own words what happened?”

THELMA MAE: “Well, now, who else’s’ words would I use? Stupidest thing I ever heard.”

LOL!!  I thought that was too funny and it gave me a glimpse as to what I could expect from the likes of Thelma Mae Earnshaw.

In conclusion, I thought this cozy could be classified along with the best of them and I recommend it to those who love to savor a good cozy mystery.

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Review: State of the Onion

State of the Onion
State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Olivia “Ollie” Paras is Assistant chef in the White House kitchen. She aspires to become Executive Chef following the approaching retirement of highly esteemed Executive Chef and colleague, Henry.  While on her way back from purchasing a retirement gift for Henry, Ollie witnesses an intruder running on White House grounds. Although Secret Service is unable to detain him, Ollie, hidden from sight, manages to clobber the intruder with the skillet she just bought for Henry. But there’s something odd about this man.  Instead of wanting to harm the President, he seems to want to warn him of something. Stranger still he addresses one of the Secret Service by name and inquires about his family. Something’s fishier than the trout in the White House kitchen. Who is this man?  Later, while watching the scene of the incident at home on t.v., Ollie notices that the footage has been altered. The man on t.v. is not the same man that she whacked with the skillet. When she tries to convince her Secret Service boyfriend Tom of this discrepancy, he’s incredulous and tries to convince her that she doesn’t know what she saw. Is he right? Are her eyes playing tricks on her? Can she trust Tom after all?

I loved this White House Chef Mystery!! I actually listened to it on Audible and it was a great experience. The narrator really brought the characters to life and I was enthralled by the story and thoroughly engrossed to the very end. It was so much fun hearing the voices of several of the characters that were from other countries; an added bonus to my listening experience. The descriptions of food being prepared in the kitchen made me hungry!! I’d read wonderful reviews about Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef Mystery series so I decided to check it out. I’m sure glad I did. If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, I am rather certain you will love State of the Onion. I did!!

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Review: Tailing a Tabby

Tailing a Tabby
Tailing a Tabby by Laurie Cass

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫  I enjoyed this cozy mystery about a Librarian, Minnie Hamilton, who drives a Bookmobile with her cat Eddie and teenaged volunteer Thessie, and lives on a houseboat. One day Minnie helps to rescue a male stroke victim while driving the bookmobile and they become fast friends. When the man, who happens to be an accomplished artist, is arrested for a murder he presumably did not commit, Minnie springs into action to help find the real killer. This was a fun read, and although I didn’t read the first book in the series it didn’t seem to make a difference. I loved reading about Eddie the cat because I’m a cat owner myself and could identify with the cuteness of Eddie’s kitty antics.  I didn’t feel that Eddie was a major contributor to the solving of the murder, but he was a constant feature of the book.  I also really liked some of the quirky characters, especially Trock Farrand, star of the cooking show Trock’s Troubles. He came across as charming and a bit eccentric.  I found myself chuckling whenever his character was present.  At times I had a little trouble keeping all of the characters straight, and I didn’t see how the side story of Minnie’s Aunt Frances and her matchmaking attempts fit with the story, but nevertheless it was a good cozy. I’ve heard some reviewers say they really liked the first book in the series so I might have to go back and read that one. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries you’ll probably like this one too. I received this book free from Dru’s Book Musings, and in exchange have provided an honest review.

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