The Book Nook

This is where I post reviews of the books I've read.

Review of Bad Neighbors (An Agnes & Effie Mystery #2)

Bad Neighbors - Maia Chance

Bad Neighbors (An Agnes & Effie Mystery #2)Bad Neighbors by Maia Chance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s leaf-peeping season in Naneda, New York, and Agnes Blythe has settled into helping her Great Aunt Effie restore the Stagecoach Inn. It seems nothing can shatter the golden idyll or the kaching of cash registers until a mechanic at Hatch Automotive is found bludgeoned to death with a wrench.
Sweeping into action, Agnes and Effie are on the scene, when a tourist laden motor coach breaks down outside of town. The Stagecoach Inn isn’t really ready for guests, but Agnes and Effie agree to take in a group of seniors while they wait for repairs to be done on the motor coach. Agnes finds herself being pulled into the investigation when she learns her boyfriend, Otis Hatch, is the Naneda Police Department’s prime suspect. With bodies falling faster than the leaves off of the trees, Agnes must leaf through the viable suspects and clear Otis’s name of murder.

The mystery is full of twists and and red herrings with some humor thrown in to help break up some of the more intense situations. The main characters are well written, well developed, and believable which makes them lifelike. The gaggle of senior citizens help bring some comic relief as they follow Agnes and Effie around town, even helping the two investigate the murders. The author describes the characters and scenes in the book so nicely that you can imagine what is happening throughout the book.

I like that while Agnes has low self-esteem issues she doesn't let it stop her from trying to find the killer, sometimes in humorous situations with surprising results. The snide comments that Delilah makes to Agnes every time they talk made me take a big disliking to her so I was glad to see she gets her just desserts at the end of the book. I was happy to see that Agnes and Otis made up in the end and decided to give their relationship another chance since they both have strong feelings for each other. Effie giving Agnes an equal share in the inn was nice, it showed Agnes that her aunt believes in her and that she's not a failure in her eyes. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series to see what Agnes and Effie get themselves into.

I got an ARC of this book from netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for my review of the book.

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Lethal Licorice (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) - Amanda Flower

Lethal Licorice (Amish Candy Shop Mystery, #2)Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King has left her coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. While caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by taking his place in the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . An Amish candy maker from the neighboring town who had wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to a licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear both of their names and find a killer with a stomach for cold-blooded murder .

The mystery has lots of twists, turns, and red herrings that make the reader keep second guessing themselves about the true identity of the killer really is until they are revealed. The characters are well written, realistic, and believable which makes how they interact with each other lifelike. The author gives the reader a nice peak into the way of life for the Amish and shows how life can differ between the Amish from neighboring towns. The author also shows what it's like for a family member who was raised English to try to interact with her family that have lived the Amish lifestyle their entire life. The author makes her settings and characters come to life with her descriptive writing, you can picture what is happening in your mind.

I did like that Bailey offered to help Charlotte who turns out to be a distant cousin of Bailey's when she needs a place to stay when she runs away from home. I also liked learning a little about Bailey's grandmother's early life and what she sacrificed for the man that she loved. I was glad when Jethro the pig was found since he did bring a little relief to some tense situations in the previous book with his antics and hopefully he will bring some of that relief in the next book. I also hope that the Bailey and Aiden Brody will realize their feelings for each other and a relationship will blossom between them. The one thing I didn't like was where the killer put Josephine's body, it seemed harsh since the killer was using the hiding place to send a message to another member of Josephine's family. I can't wait to read book 3 Premeditated Peppermint since this is a wonderful series.

I received an ARC of this book from netgalley and Kensington Books for my honest opinion.

Written in Stone - Ellery Adams

Written in Stone (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #4)Written in Stone by Ellery Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Munin Cooper, who is known as the Witch of Oyster Bay, warns Olivia Limoges that death is coming, neither of them realize that it is for Munin herself who will be found dead. Olivia’s instincts tell her that someone more sinister than a mystical force is at play. Olivia has a lot on her plate as she prepares for the Coastal Carolina Food Festival. When she hears about Munin’s untimely death, however, finding the murderer takes priority. Munin left behind a memory jug full of keepsakes that Olivia knows must point to the killer but first she’s got to figure out what they all mean. With her boyfriend Sawyer Rawlings by her side, Olivia starts to identify some of the jug’s mysterious contents. Soon they find that the jugs secrets are much darker than Olivia ever suspected. Now Olivia must enlist the help from the members of the Bayside Book Writers to help solve the puzzle behind the piece of pottery and put an end to a vengeful killer before any more damage can be done.

The mystery has lots of twists and turns and has more layers than suspects, so you have no idea who the killer is and why they did what they did until the big reveal at the end of the book. The characters are well developed, well written, and realistic. The way they interact with each other as they go about their daily lives make them very believable and lifelike. Captain Haviland at times seems to be more human than dog the way he interacts with different situations.

I like that Olivia is still growing stronger and becoming more complete as a person as she works on her relationships with her family, friends, and boyfriend. I'm still on the fence about how I feel about Olivia's decision about how she deals with a personal family situation when she meets the uncle that she never knew about. I don't like that after Michel makes some racist comments he doesn't have to deal with any sort of consequences for his remarks in any way. I also think that the bedroom scenes between Olivia and Sawyer seem to be unnecessary to the plot line of the book.

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Review of Rockets' Dead Glare by Lynn Cahoon

Rockets' Dead Glare (A Tourist Trap Mystery) - Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

South Cove’s businesses are upset after volunteer fire chief Barry Gleason threatens to shut down anyone who doesn't fix any fire code violations he sites them for even some that he has made up. When Barry schedules a training burn in an old abandoned barn, he's the only one who doesn't come out alive. Jill Gardner the owner of Coffee, Books, and More smells murder in the ashes.

Even though this was a novella it didn't leave out anything that you get from the regular books of the series. We get a well written mystery full of twists and turns and a surprising conclusion. All the characters are well developed and well written it feels like you're just dropping by for a quick visit with some old friends. I like that Jill's boyfriend Greg who is the police chief doesn't get to mad at her for investigating like he does in some of the other books. I also liked that Greg let Jill explain her theory of who the murderer was and how they had committed the crime instead of ignoring her and her theory.

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Kensington Books for my honest review of the book.

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Twelve Angry Librarians

Twelve Angry Librarians - Miranda James Charlie Harris is stressed out. The Southern Academic Libraries Association is holding their annual meeting in Athena and it's being hosted by Athena College. Since Charlie is the interim library director, he has to deliver the welcome speech to all of the visiting librarians. And as if that weren t bad enough, the keynote address will be delivered by Charlie s old nemesis from library school Gavin Fong. It's been thirty years since Charlie has seen Gavin, and he's still an insufferable know-it-all who's capable of getting under everyone's skin. In his keynote, Gavin puts forth an unpopular opinion: that librarians will be obsolete in the libraries of the future. So, when Gavin dies during his speech, no one seems too upset. Charlie, who was seen having a heated argument with Gavin after his welcome speech, has jumped to the top of the suspect list. Now Charlie and Diesel must look for clues and check out every one of them to find the real killer among them before Charlie is reading books behind bars.

The author gives us a different aspect of who ends up being the real killer among all of the people who didn't like Gavin and wanted to see him dead. The characters are all still believable, and the returning characters all have their story lines continue to grow so we'll have something to look forward to as the series grows. I enjoyed reading about how Charlie makes up his mind about a major decision that will affect his future and I was glad about the decision that he came to. I liked that Charlie's relationship with Helen Louise is finally making some progress since it seemed a little flat in the last book. I am getting a little tired of reading about everytime Diesel goes into the utility room and digs in his litter box, I don't want to read about everytime the cat goes to the bathroom, I know the author does this for realism but really enough is enough about the cat's bathroom trips.

A Deadly Cliché

A Deadly Cliché - Ellery Adams While out walking her poodle on the beach, Olivia Limoges finds a dead body buried in the sand with a plastic pail on it's head. The town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina has been hit with a string of burglaries, could the body be connected to the burglaries? At every one of the crime scenes, the thieves set up odd tableau which Olivia realizes each setup represents a cliché. The town's residents also have to get ready for the hurricane that is coming right towards the coast. To top off her busy week, Olivia gets a letter informing her that her father, who abandoned her and was thought to be lost at sea and even possibly dead for the past thirty years, is still alive.

The characters are engaging and they each have their good and bad traits so that the reader is able to connect with them in one way or another. The members of the Bayside Book Writers, are becoming more than the sum of their parts they are becoming nice cohesive team, as they learn, grow, and develop. This development is most noticeable in Olivia and Laurel, but does include the entire group. The twists and turns of the mystery keep the reader guessing as they try to figure out how the body on the beach and the robberies are connected to each other. I liked that Olivia and Sawyer Rawlings the towns police chief are starting to fall for each other, I hope this relationship continues to grow. I also liked that Olivia's friendships with the writer's group are still continuing to grow and become stronger. I like that Laurel decides to take a chance and get a job at the local paper to have a life of her own instead of staying home and taking care of her twins while her husband is the breadwinner in their household. I didn't like that Olivia's father had changed his name and remarried and had another child while not staying in touch with his daughter and let her think that he was dead while he was living on an island that was 15 miles away from the coast of Oyster Bay.

A Killer Plot

A Killer Plot - Ellery Adams Olivia Limoges is the subject of constant gossip to the residents of Oyster Bay, North Carolina. Ever since she came back to town after having left when she was a child to be raised by her grandmother, after her mother died after an accident during a hurricane and being abandoned by her father, Olivia has kept to herself. All she needs in her life is her dog Captain Haviland a black standard poodle and her unfinished novel which she hopes to finish soon. With a little cajoling from the charming writer Camden Ford, she agrees to join the Bayside Book Writers, to hopefully break her writer's block, and even make a few friends. When townspeople start turning up dead with haiku poems by their bodies, anyone with a flair for language is suddenly suspect. It's up to Olivia to catch the killer before she meets her own poetic ending.

The mystery has enough twists and turns to keep the reader off track but not for them to lose interest in the story. The characters are fun, believable, and a little on the eccentric side. The author does give the reader how the the world of a writer is different for each of the members of the writer's group. The author's description of the town and characters makes it possible to picture them in your head. I liked how Olivia seems to grow throughout the story from being someone who only cares about herself to caring for others and starting to make friends with the members of the writer's group.

Death of Riley

Death of Riley - Rhys Bowen Molly Murphy has at last begun to forget the unpleasant murder of the would-be rapist who she killed in self defense back in Ireland, along with her investigation into the murder of a fellow Irish immigrant, and she's finally free to begin her new life in New York City. Given her experiences Molly has decided to become a private investigator, a people finder of sorts, working for families in Europe who've lost touch with relatives in America. Not only will this put some food on her table, but also hook the handsome NYPD police captain Daniel Sullivan, and she has visions of lots of opportunities to seek out his counsel in her new profession.

Paddy Riley is a tough old Cockney p.i. who specializes in divorce work, and with a little persuasion from Molly he's ready to take her on as an apprentice. It's not exactly as she had imagined, but she plans to make the most of it. That is, until she goes into work one day and finds her world turned upside down and all expectations for her professional life suddenly up in the air.

Before long, Molly sets off on a journey that'll take her through the back alleys of Manhattan and into the bars and lounges of the literary scene, where she spends her time with writers, actors, poets, and musicians. It's an eye-opening experience for innocent young Molly, but she's determined to find out exactly what happened in the office of Paddy Riley that day. Armed with nothing more than her fiery will and matching wild red hair, Molly has no idea of the danger her pursuit may bring into her life.

The mystery is well paced and has elements of adventure, danger, and suspense all mixed together into the plot. The author does a nice job describing New York City in the early twentieth century and what life was like during that time. This book has two mysteries that are connected to each other in a surprising way. The author does a good job of weaving the factual assassination of President McKinley into the books fictional plot line.

I liked the addition of the characters of Sid, Gus, and Ryan I hope we get to see more of them in the next books. I do not like Nula or her rowdy family and I hope that we don't have to read too much about them in the next book of the series. I would also like to see Molly and Daniel get back together since they seem to balance wach other out.

No Cats Allowed

No Cats Allowed - Miranda James Athena College's new library director, Oscar Reilly, is a brash, unfriendly man who’s on a mission to cut costs, the former director left in disgrace after overspending the library's budget by $500,000 His first two targets are the college's archives and the rare book collection. Reilly very quickly enemies of everyone on staff, including Charlie, his fiery friend Melba, and the other three library department heads. Reilly has forbade to let Charlie bring Diesel into work with him any longer, and he wants to replace Melba with someone younger. Someone os playing pranks on Reilly to get back at him for how he has treated them. When Reilly's body is discovered in the library's basement between the compact shelving, the suspect list is filled with suspects aplenty. When an threatening e-mail puts the suspicion on Melba things take a turn for the worse. Charlie and Diesel are convinced that their friend is no murderer. The college's president convinces Charlie to act as the interim directory for the library. With this appointment Charlie is able to look into the problem of the overspent budget. When someone smashes Charlie's windshield and then takes a shot at him as he is entering his house, he knows he has to find the real killer before it's too late.

The characters are still as well written and delightful as they always are. We do get some advancement on a few of the ongoing subplots in the series which is nice. The mystery is full of suspects and motives for the crime, which Charlie works through until the solution is reached in a nice logical way. I did like the surprises the Sean sprang on Charlie. I also liked how Stuart's relationship is still going strong. I didn't like the character of Reilly even before he was killed off, he seemed to be a one dimensional jerk.

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan It's been two years since Polly moved to Mount Polbearne, and things are finally going well for her. She and Huckle along with Neil the puffin have moved into the old lighthouse, and she's managing the two bakeries and business is booming since Mrs. Manse retired. Then, everything seems to go horribly wrong. Tarnie's widow Selina returns to the island and befriends Polly, Polly really wants to be friends, but doesn't know how she can with the secret about her and Tarnie hanging over her head. Hucke's brother, Dubose, from America decides to visit, shirking his duties, which has repercussions for Huckle. Then, Mrs. Manse has a heart attack and dies, leaving nothing for Polly in her will. Mrs. Manse's sister Janet, sends her son Malcolm who pictures himself a businessman to manage both of the the bakeries. Malcolm can't tell the difference between Polly's hand-crafted artisan bread and the cheap fractory produced loaves and, he doesn't care. He's all about making a lot of money by having the bakeries run as cheaply as he can, by firing Polly. Huckle tells Polly about an idea of driving a van or food truck to sell her homemade bread to the locals and the tourists. While Huckle goes to America to deal with the repercussions of Dubose's visit, Polly finds a van and gets her new business running. The bakeries aren't doing very well under Malcolm's mangement and he thinks Polly has turned people against him so he tries to bring down Polly's new business as payback.

The characters are quirky, endearing, and some more lovable than others. The author gives us some subplots with unexpected twists and turns that all come together in a nice tidy way at the end of the story. The way the author used her descriptive writing you can picture the characters and the surroundings in your head as you read the story. I did find myself cheering Polly on in my head as she dealt with her problems. I did enjoy the epilogue because we discover that Neil is taking care of a nest with an egg inside it so he'll be a papa puffin soon and Huckle asks Polly a very important question.

Engaged in Death

Engaged in Death - Stephanie Blackmoore Mallory Shepard and her fiance, Keith Pierce, are lawyers who work at different law firms in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Mallory's trying to keep her cool as Keith's mother, Helene Pierce takes over the wedding planning and suddenly it’s no longer the wedding that Mallory wanted or even wants. When Mallory receives an envelope with compromising photographs of Keith and co-worker, Becca Cunningham she dumps Keith and packs an overnight bag. She is devastated and angry, she hides out in a hotel and calls off the wedding with her sister Rachel's help they call the guests and anyone hired for wedding to let them know the wedding is canceled, and dodges phone calls from Keith and Helene. Mallory learns that Keith’s grandmother, Sylvia, whom she adored, had recently changed her will, and had deeded her home, Thistle Park, in Port Quincy, Pennsylvania to her with the request that she never allow fracking anywhere on the property. Even though the house has been vacant since Sylvia was put in the nursing home and the property and mansion are in disrepair, Mallory and Rachel decide to move in. On the first day there, Shane Hartley, a representative for Lonestar Energy, approaches Mallory about letting Lonestar lease some of her land for fracking, an argument ensues between the two of them, and Mallory pushes Shane. The following morning, Rachel finds Shane's dead body laying in the front yard. At first, the sisters plan on cleaning up the mansion and selling it, but soon they start to fantasize about fixing the mansion up, opening a B&B, and hosting special events and weddings, the only problem is they don’t have the funds to make that happen. Helene and Keith are angry that they didn’t inherit the house as they had planned on, since Helene had already agreed to let Lonestar lease the property from her for the purpose of fracking. Believing that the police aren’t moving fast enough to find out who killed Shane, Mallory starts investigating on her own. Someone is tries to scare Mallory and Rachel away from the house, by leaving threatening messages on their walls, sabotaging their car, and the senior partners at the law firm Mallory works at try to intimate her.

The mystery has several twists and turns with a few interesting red herrings thrown in to keep you guessing about who the killer is until the surprising reveal at the end of the book. The characters are well developed and well rounded which makes them seem lifelike. The subplots of the story were woven nicely together so that they were all tied up at the end of the book. The way the author described the town and people made it possible to picture them in your head. I did like the relationship between Mallory and Rachel the way they interacted with each other. I did like that Mallory decided to give a relationship with Garret )who was Sylvia's lawyer, Mallory's new neighbor, and Summer's dad) a chance since there were some sparks between the two of them. I really didn't like Keith or Helene and how they treated Mallory, so I was glad that the plans for Thistle Park didn't go as planned.

Murphy's Law

Murphy's Law - Rhys Bowen When spirited redhead Molly Murphy commits a murder in self defense she must flee from her family's home in Ireland. Molly meets Kathleen O'Connor and her two children Seamus and Birdie who are getting ready to set sail to America. When Kathleen asks Molly to take the kids on the ship to America and deliver them to their father, since she was diagnosed with tuberculosis she won't be allowed on the ship or into America. The four of them make their way to the dock where the ship is Kathleen tells the kids that she forgot her ticker at home but that Molly will take them to their father since she doesn't want them to know she is sick.

When the ship sails into New York Harbor, with the majestic Statue of Liberty providing comfort and inspiration, Molly's sure that her whole life is in front of her. But there's one last hurdle to clear: Ellis Island. She's just one of thousands of immigrants, awaiting their fate with anxiety and hope. Unfortunately, before Molly, Seamus, and Birdie are able to leave the island, a man is brutally murdered in the men's dorm. Coincidence's and fate make Molly a suspect in a crime that she didn't commit. Under a cloud of suspicion, and growing mutual attraction between Molly and the handsome police captain Daniel Sullivan who's in charge of the case. She's allowed to leave Ellis Island for Manhattan where she reunites the children with their father. Unfortunately, she's on a mission that she couldn't have anticipated and that's to clear her own name of murder. Alone in a new country with no one to lean on, Molly hits the vibrant streets of New York intent on finding out what really happened.

The mystery has plenty of suspects and twists and turns which get wrapped up in a surprising way. Molly is a smart engaging character who uses her brain to figure things out, instead of being a damsel in distress type. I like that when Molly finds an apartment with more space than she needs she wants to give Seamus, Birdie, and their father also named Seamus one of the rooms so they don't have to live in a crowded apartment in a dangerous part of town. The way that Molly and Daniel interact with each other throughout the book you can see the beginning of a relationship starting to bloom.

Arsenic and Old Books

Arsenic and Old Books - Miranda James Charlie Harris is well known for his good nature and for his pet Maine coon Diesel that he walks around town on a leash. Charlie has returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but when he takes the plunge into a recent acquisition he will be in over his head. The mayor of Athena Lucinda Beckwith Long, donates a recently discovered set of Civil War-era diaries to the archives of Athena College. She'd like Charlie to preserve and to add them as part of the Long family collection, something that could help her son, Beck, as he plans to campaign for the state senate. Beck’s biggest rival and competition is Jasper Singletary. His roots are just as deep as Beck’s, and the two families have been enemies since the Civil War. Jasper claims the Long's have a history of underhanded behavior at the expense of the Singletary's. He’d like to look at the diaries to expose the Long family’s past sins. Marie Steverton, a history professor at the college is determined to get a hold of the books in her last chance for tenure. Reporter Kelly Grimes also wants to look at the diaries to help one of the candidates. But for one of them their interest turns deadly very quickly.
The diaries seem like they are worth killing for, and one thing is very certain, Charlie will need to be extra careful, since the more he reads of the diaries, the closer he's coming to his final chapter.

This story has not one but two mysteries and they both have twists and turns that get wrapped up nicely at the end of the book. The author gives us a unique look of how the Civil War affected the Long's and the Singletary's not just during the war but even afterwards also. I did miss reading about Sean, Laura, Justin, and Stuart except for the short cameos they make throughout the story. It is nice to see Charlie and Helen Louise's relationship continue to grow. I also liked the news that Laura tells her family at the end of the story but I won't spoil it here.

Death of a Cookbook Author

Death of a Cookbook Author - Lee Hollis I received and ARC of this book from Netgalley and Kensington Publishing for my honest review.

Hayley Powell is a food columnist for The Island Times in Bar Harbor, Maine. While at a book signing by Penelope Janice, one of the top stars for the Flavor Network for her latest cookbooks. Penelope asks Hayley to participate in a celebrity potluck contest as a last minute fill in for a no show guest at her estate over the Fourth of July weekend to be filmed for her cooking show. Hayley gets food poisoning from some bad mussels the first night, then she overhears a man, who she believes to be Penelope's husband Conrad, and a woman plotting a murder of who she thinks is Penelope. When Hayley tells Penelope what she'd overheard, Penelope doesn't believe her. Things get even more complicated when Conrad is found dead at the bottom of a cliff after a night of heavy drinking. Hayley now has to find out if Conrad's death was an accident as everyone believes it to be, or if it was murder like Hayley suspects. Hayley call Bruce, the crime reporter for the paper after an attempt is made on her life, the two team up to work on figuring out the mystery.

With a house full of suspects it's hard to narrow down who killed Conrad until the surprising reveal. We don't have the usual characters in this book as Hayley's children have both left home and her two best friends only make the briefest of appearances so we are introduced to some new colorful characters. It was nice to see Hayley's and Bruce's relationship take a turn towards them being a couple after being coworkers and friends since book 1. The author does a nice job of drawing you into the story with her characters, well plotted mystery, and her well paced story line.

The Silence of the Library

The Silence of the Library - Miranda James It’s National Library Week, and the librarians at the Athena Public Library are planning a display about teen girl detectives, as well as an exhibit to honor the famous author Electra Barnes Cartwright of the Veronica Thane series. Charlie's got a soft spot for the girl detective stories, as well as a collection of her books that he inherited from his Aunt Dottie. When Electra Barnes Cartwright agrees to make a public appearance, the news of her being alive and her whereabouts goes viral overnight, and Veronica Thane devotees and book collectors ascend on Athena. There's also a rumor going around that Cartwright has 5 unpublished Veronica Thane manuscripts, and one serious fan will stop at nothing to get a hold of the books, even if it means killing someone.

This mystery has a nice book in a book plot with Charlie rereading one of his books in the Veronica Thane series whose plot helps him solve the main stories mystery. Charlie's relationship with Diesel is so realistically you can see the two of them walking down the streets of Athena, Diesel in his harness and Charlie stopping to visit with friends or just waving at people as they pass. Diesel is also intuitive to when people need a little comfort during tense and difficult situations. Charlie, his son Sean, and his daughter Laura have all grown closer into together, and each of them have found love and maybe potential spouses. The mystery is full of twists and turns with plenty of secrets that are revealed that make the conclusion even more of a surprise.

Playing With Bonbon Fire

Playing With Bonbon Fire - Dorothy St. James I got an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Kensington Publications, for my honest opinion.

Charity Penn is busy running the The Chocolate Box the chocolate shop that she inherited from her grandmother Mabel in the seaside town Camellia Beach, South Carolina. Bertie is still making the luscious bonbons for the shop, and Penn keep has hopes that she’ll be able make the bonbon's like Bertie. The beach side town is abuzz because it’s time for the Summer Solstice Beach Music Festival. Pop star Bixby Lewis is there as a favor to Penn’s half-sister, Tina. He’s being followed by a stalker who causes trouble while telling people they are an item. Tragedy strikes the music festivities when a singer for one of the bands performing at the festival dies in a bonfire. Penn finds herself trying to find who threw a rock through the front window, then who shot the same window, and finally who drove a car through the front of the shop, all while trying to create a bonbon for the festival and trying to find out what happened to Mabel's missing daughter who maybe her mother.

This was a nicely paced mystery with a couple of subplots that all come together very nicely at the end of the story. The mystery was has a few red herrings and several twists and turns to go through before the the true culprit is revealed. The characters seem to leap from the page by the way the author describes them and makes them so life like. I like how Penn seems to be growing and accepting the situations in her life. I also like that the author has opened up a possible relationship between Penn and Harley her friend and lawyer.

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