COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer

Even though I love historical fiction and I love cozy mysteries, for some reason i’ve struggled in the past to read historical cozies…well, that streak finally ended with Murder at the Mena House! I absolutely loved the first book in this new series – Jane is a fun main character, Aunt Millie is mysterious and precocious and intriguing, and the dashing Mr. Redvers might be my absolute favorite.

Set in Egypt, young widow Jane is spending time abroad with her Aunt Millie at the Mena House Hotel. They meet some interesting characters right from the jump, and when sassy socialite Anna Stainton is found murdered, it’s a race to find the culprit before another body turns up. I had such vivid imagery of this in my mind while reading! It felt like going on vacation. Murder at the Mena House has Clue (yes, the board game) and Agatha Christie vibes, and i’m so excited to pick up the next book in the series!

Thank you Kensington Books for sending me a copy of this book!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – Fresh Brewed Murder by Emmeline Duncan

A promising start to a brand new cozy mystery series, Fresh Brewed Murder tackles some tougher topics but never loses that overall cozy vibe that readers love.

Sage has recently opened Ground Rules, a coffee cart located in a food truck park in Portland. She barely has time to make more than a few lattes before she finds a repeat (and grumpy) customer dead right in front of her cart. Sage is immediately high on the suspect list, because a box cutter from her very own cart is the murder weapon.

We get a glimpse into Sage’s complicated life story (which I assume we will get more of in future books!) and the author doesn’t shy away from tough issues like homelessness and gentrification.

Thank you Kensington Books for the ARC!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – Death at the Salon by Louise R. Innes

Death at the Salon is the second book in the Daisy Thorne mysteries, and I had a lot of fun reading it! Daisy owns Ooh La La, a local hair salon in a small English village. When one of her customers ends up dead mere hours after her (final…) appointment, Daisy has to work fast to not only clear her name, but keep herself (and her staff!) safe from a murderer on the loose.

Fans of cozy mysteries are sure to love the setting and characters of this series – I can’t wait to see what Daisy will do next!

Thank you Louise Innes for the digital ARC!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – A Matter of Hive and Death by Nancy Coco

A Matter of Hive and Death is the second book in the Oregon Honeycomb Mystery series, and I liked it even more than the first! Wren is a great main character and her Aunt Eloise, best friend Porsche and charismatic kitty Everett are absolutely delightful. (And, of course the tall, blue-eyed Officer Jim Hampton…)

The mystery in A Matter of Hive and Death was fantastically written and really fun to solve, with a lot of twists and turns that kept me guessing.

Thank you Kensington Books for the ARC!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – Death by Chocolate Snickerdoodle by Sarah Graves

Best friends Jake and Ellie, owners of the Chocolate Moose, are wrapping up their busy summer season. In an effort to prepare for the winter and make some extra money, Ellie takes on a big catering order. At the same time, they’ve decided to enter Eastport’s annual cookie baking contest. When the local curmudgeon ends up dead, Jake and Ellie take it upon themselves to investigate (they have a reputation for doing so…)

This is the second book i’ve read in this series, and it definitely won’t be the last. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments – Jake is an absolute HOOT. Ellie is a bit more levelheaded and the “brains” of the pair, but their friendship is adorable and their proclivity for snooping where they shouldn’t is always entertaining.

Thank you Kensington Books for the ARC!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon

“Murder’s messy. Attracts attention. Not the good kind. The kind that shines light into corners best left dark.”

In Murder in G Major we meet Gethsemane Brown, an accomplished classical musician who abandoned her life in the states for a job in Ireland. Unfortunately, that job has been pulled out from under her, and she finds herself stranded with no luggage and no money (and her ticket to Ireland was one way…)

“Definitely a ghost. Hallucinations would’ve had better manners.”

Luckily, she’s offered a stay at a cottage in a tiny village in the Irish countryside, and soon finds herself teaching at St. Brennan’s School for Boys. The orchestra has a big competition coming up and…they need help. A LOT of help. In the midst of all of these life changes, Gethsemane also comes to realize the cottage is inhabited by the ghost of a suspect in a long-ago murder-suicide case. He claims he’s innocent and wants Gethsemane’s help in clearing his name.

Murder in G Major is cleverly written, with a healthy dash of humor and a good amount of tense moments. Gethsemane is an incredibly likable character, and her interactions with the ghost in the book were some of my favorite passages to read. I’m definitely interested in continuing on with this series!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – A Game of Cones by Abby Collette

After A Deadly Inside Scoop was one of my favorite cozy mysteries of 2020 (trust me, I read a lot of cozies!) I was so excited to be back in Chagrin Falls with Win and her family. A Game of Cones did NOT disappoint. When a developer comes to town with news of a potential mall being built, someone in the community takes quick action and the developer ends up dead that night.

One of Win’s friends (visiting from NYC) stumbles across the body and becomes suspect number one. Even though she tries to keep her distance, Win can’t help but get tangled up in the murder investigation and comes face to face with a cold-blooded killer. And we still get the family dynamic and charming ice cream shop setting that we grew to love in book one.

Any cozy mystery set in Ohio is automatically of interest to me, and I can’t wait to see what book three has in store!

Thank you Berkley for the NetGalley ARC!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – Fatal Fried Rice by Vivien Chien

I recommend the Noodle Shop Mystery series to pretty much anyone looking to start reading cozy mysteries. The funny part? Fatal Fried Rice is only the second book i’ve read in this series (I know, I KNOW! I’m working on it!)

Vivien Chien writes such delightful, fun stories. Her characters feel realistic and Lana is a main character you love to root for (and want to be best friends with!)

The mystery in Fatal Fried Rice kept me guessing and, as always, the cover gave me an intense craving for some good Chinese food. If you’re a cozy mystery fan, or if you want to try the genre, you can’t go wrong with these books.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for the ARC!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – Murder at the Beacon Bakeshop by Darci Hannah

There’s so much to love about this book! I was immediately interested when I found out it was set in northern Michigan (in the book, Beacon Harbor is close-ish to Traverse City). When Lindsey buys an old lighthouse in Michigan and quits her cushy job in New York City, she gets a little bit more than she bargained for.

With time, she renovates the lighthouse into a bakery/apartment and gets ready for a successful opening day. However, when her ex-fiance’s new girlfriend ends up dead after eating one of Lindsey’s donuts, she finds herself (and her brand new bakery) stuck in the middle of a murder investigation.

This was such a fun read. Darci Hannah does a great job of portraying life in a small Michigan town. The love interest in this book is DREAMY as heck and the supporting characters are a lot of fun.

Thank you Kensington Books for the ARC!

COZY MYSTERY REVIEW – Murder in an Irish Bookshop by Carlene O’Connor

I can’t get enough of Siobhan and Macdara and the O’Sullivan Six and Kilbane. This series is definitely a favorite and I really want to go back and read the first few books that I haven’t yet picked up.

Murder in an Irish Bookshop has SUCH a fun murder to solve – when a visiting author is found dead in a newly opened bookshop, Siobhan has a long list of suspects to sort through (this author was…prickly. She made a lot of enemies.)

The investigation and reveal is SO clever – O’Connor’s ability to outline an elaborate and interesting murder never fails to amaze me.

Thank you Bibliolifestyle and Kensington Books!