Death of a Macho Man (Hamish MacBeth #12) by M.C. Beaton

Book Description:

Published: 2009

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Randy Duggan is the macho man of the title of this work of fiction. He claims to be a professional wrestler and he becomes known in the small village of Lochdubh for his tall stories. When Randy is found murdered, Constable Hamish Macbeth hopes that the killer is not one of the villagers. However, there is enough local resentment against Randy, that someone in quiet, peaceful Lochdubh may have been driven to slaying this macho man.

 

Review –

This is the twelfth book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth, the constable for the sleepy village of Lochdubh in northern Scotland. In this book, village life takes center stage and the village characters beguile the reader, giving the book that cozy feel. Moreover, readers will enjoy the dynamics between Hamish and is ex-fiancée, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, as they try to achieve a détente and resolve their relationship. The book is laced with sly humor throughout that is engaging, keeping the mood of the book light and highly enjoyable.

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Eggnog Murder by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis and Barbara Ross

Book Description:

Published: October 25, 2016

With the fireplace crackling, the tree twinkling, and the carols humming, few things in life are as picture perfect as Christmas in Maine—until murder dampens the holiday spirit. It must be something in the eggnog . . .

EGGNOG MURDER by LESLIE MEIER
When a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog—allegedly from the Real Beard Santa Club—proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinker’s Cove local, all Lucy Stone wants for Christmas is to find the murdering mixologist who’s stirring up trouble.

DEATH BY EGGNOG by LEE HOLLIS
Food and cocktails columnist Hayley Powell has never cared much for Bar Harbor’s grouchy town librarian, Agatha Farnsworth. But after the Scroogy senior has a fatal—and suspicious—allergic reaction to supposedly non-dairy eggnog, it’s up to Hayley to ladle out some justice.

NOGGED OFF by BARBARA ROSS
Julia Snowden’s tenant Imogen Geinkes seems to be jinxed. First, her poorly named “Killer Eggnog” gives all her co-workers food poisoning at the holiday party, then her boyfriend’s body shows up in Julia’s moving truck as she’s headed back to Busman’s Harbor. Now Julia has to get moving to catch the cold-hearted culprit.

Cozy up with a glass of eggnog and enjoy the spirit of murder and mystery in a Yultide treat perfect for those winter holidays . . .

Review –

I haven’t read a food related murder mystery in a long time so I thought this one would be perfect, and it completely lived up to all my expectations.

EGGNOG MURDER is set in Tinker’s Cove, Maine and  I loved learning about their Real Beard Santa Club, which I now know is a real group with branches everywhere. The characters of this story drew me right in and I realized I have missed them so I know I need to get caught up on the books I have missed as soon as possible.

DEATH BY EGGNOG  takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. I was at a little disadvantage with this one as it was my introduction to these characters and the writer’s style of Hayley’s articles right in the story but I knew from the start Agatha Farnsworth, the head librarian, was definitely on Santa’s naughty list and was not surprised she was our victim. What was surprising was the culprit responsible for her demise.

NOGGED OFF focuses on Julia cleaning out her old apartment in New York since she has decided to stay in Busman’s Harbor. When she meets her subletting tenant her quick trip to the city gets complicated. The author packed a whole wonderful cozy into just over 100 pages. The mystery takes us on quite a ride that at times was just plain crazy and so much fun to read. I love Julia and her big heart. It was fun to make winter trip to Busman’s Harbor.

All three of these stories were well written with interesting characters. Great reads for the holiday season but they may have you refraining from eggnog for a while. I say fix a cup of peppermint hot chocolate and curl up in a cozy chair. These mysteries will captivate you for a few wonderful hours.

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Golden Eggs and Other Deadly Things (Carrie Carlin Mysteries #4) by Nancy Tesler

353739Product Description:

Published: 2000          Series: Carrie Carlin Mysteries

Everything was golden, until the killing began…

The good news was that Carrie’s father had gotten rich. The bad news was that her stepmom was coming to visit.

Carrie, a stress-reduction therapist who dates a cop, mothers two teenagers, and solves murders on the side, thought she could handle Eve for a weekend. But that was before the glamour queen dragged Carrie into a wild-goose chase that led to a dead man in Manhattan.

Now Eve is in jail, Carrie’s long-lost stepbrother–so long-lost Carrie didn’t know she had one–is back, and people are dropping like flies. No wonder Carrie’s biorhythms are starting to flutter. For Carrie, unraveling the mystery that Eve thrust into her life is a matter of self-preservation. Because a killer has a shortlist of victims–and Carrie’s name is right near the top….

 

Review –

After reading so many serious book it’s nice to read a funny murder mystery and this one fits the bill.  Love this series.

 

 

Review –

Full Bloom by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes

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Book Description

Publication Date:May 6, 2008
Dear Reader,
The temperature’s on “sizzle” again in Beaumont, South Carolina, where peach trees are in season and ripe for the picking. So is its newest entrepreneur, Annie Fortenberry, who has inherited her grandmother’s B&B (and its eccentric handyman Erdle Thorney). According to a local psychic she also inherited a spirit from its glory days as a brothel-not the kind of publicity the Peach Tree Bed & Breakfast needs if it’s hosting millionaire Max Holt’s upcoming wedding! If rumors of a naughty, prank-playing ghost aren’t stressful enough, a mysterious man has arrived with an eye on Annie and her master suite. Wes Bridges is all leather and denim, sporting a two-day beard, straddling a Harley, and sending the B&B’s testosterone level through the roof. Annie’s cool demeanor may be dropping as fast as Wes’s jeans, but leave it to her missing ex-husband to dampen the passion! Turns out someone has done him in, and all evidence points to Annie! Wrapped up in a murder plot, Annie must find the killer, save her own neck, and get back to where she was-wrapped up in Wes’s strong loving arms…
We guarantee that you’re going to have as much fun reading Full Bloom as we had writing it! (Even if we were surprised by the ending!) And you won’t want to miss the hair-raising shenanigans when Fleas, the hound dog, meets the most cantankerous, snooty, bad-tempered, twenty-two pound orange cat….
Janet and Charlotte
Review-
This is only the second book I’ve read by this author. The first was Manhunt  in May of 2009.  To me they are good as “fluff” reading or listening because you don’t have to think while time passes. After reading The Infection by Craig DiLouie I was ready for something less deadly,menacing, and world ending so I choose this and besides our local public library has a horrible selection of audio books and I didn’t have much choice.
It was a murder mystery mixed with romance and a ghost.  It was pleasant to listen to and I didn’t have to work my brain too hard, which is nice once  in awhile.

Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons(Rose Gardner #2) by Denise Grover Swank

Book Description

Publication Date: June 25, 2012 | Series: Rose Gardner Mysteries
When Rose reports for Fenton County jury duty she figures she’s lucky to get out of a morning working at the DMV. Instead, despite a disastrous encounter with the new assistant district attorney, Mason Deveraux, she’s picked as a juror on a murder case. As the trial progresses, she realizes an ominous vision she had in the men’s restroom proves the defendant is innocent. And there’s not a cotton picking thing she can do about it. Or is there? As if things weren’t bad enough, Rose’s older sister Violet is going through a mid-life crisis. Violet insists that Rose stop seeing her sexy new boyfriend, Arkansas state detective Joe Simmons, and date other men. Rose is done letting people boss her around, but she can’t commit to Joe either. Still, Rose isn’t about to let the best thing in her life slip away.
Review  –
The Rose Gardner Mystery Series has become one of my new favorites because  the main character, Rose, is wacky,quirky, sweet, and priceless and that makes all the other characters in the book come to life.  Rose gets into such mischief, not that she really means to (okay, sometimes she does mean to) and her actions always  have repercussions, sometimes good and sometimes bad.  I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next installment.

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes(Rose Gardner Mysteries #1) by Denise Grover Swank

Book Description

Publication Date: March 19, 2012 | Series: A Rose Gardner Mystery
 
For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn’t enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.
 
Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen– do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own. 
 
Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.
 
Review –
This book was offered free for my Kindle and I read it in one sitting.  It is light-hearted and  humorous but still manages to teach a few lessons on being a good person in a world where it’s getting harder and harder to do so.
As soon as I had finished this book I went online to look for the follow-up and even though I had to pay for it this time, I had to have it. More of that one later.  I think I have found another COZY author to add to my list of favorites.

The Carrot Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen Mysteries #10) by Joanne Fluke

Book Description

Publication Date: February 1, 2009 | Series: Hannah Swenson Mysteries With Recipes
 
Between baking up a storm for The Cookie Jar and unravelling the mystery of her cat Moishe’s recent strange behaviour, Hannah Swensen has a lot on her plate. But she’ll always make time for her business partner, Lisa, who’s in the midst of preparing for a big family reunion. Everyone is delighted when Lisa’s long-lost uncle makes a surprise appearance. No one has heard from Gus in twenty-five years. Uncle Gus is immediately the hit of the reunion. He’s almost as popular as Hannah’s scrumptious carrot cake, which is also Gus’ favourite dessert. But the next morning, as the whole family gathers for the group photo, one person is missing. Hannah offers to track down Uncle Gus, but her search leads to a shocking find. Over by the bar at the pavilion, she spots two slices of her infamous carrot cake, frosting-side down on the floor – and Gus’ corpse with an ice pick jutting out of his chest!Now Hannah’s got to sift through a long list of suspects to find a killer – even if it could mean a recipe for her own demise…
 
Review –
I like this series so much that I read this book a second time.  All of the Hannah Swensen Mysteries  are light,pleasant and fun to read evcn though some of the story lines(like this one) are predictable  and easy to figure out. BACKGROUND INFO:  Hannah Swenson is the owner and operator of a bakery by the name of The Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minnesota and always included in the books are several recipes discussed in the story line.  Although I didn’t make any of these recipes this time,previously I had made the RED VELVET COOKIES, BLACK FOREST BROWNIES and the MEXICAN HOTDISH (what they call a HOTDISH in Minnesota we call a CASSEROLE here in Oklahoma) and they were all excellent.  So if you’re looking for a fun,fast paced, recipe packed series to start give The Hannah Swensen Mysteries a try.
 
 
 

Out On A Limb ( Claire Malloy Mystery #14) by Joan E. Hess

Product Description:

WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS…IT’S MURDER

Faberville bookstore owner Claire Malloy is ruminating over the state of her love life when she gets disturbing news. Elderly Miss Emily Parchester is up a tree. Chained to an old oak, packing a thermos of tea and a gun, the retired schoolteacher is ready to go down with the ship, or rather the tree, before she’ll let another historic piece of Farberville be bulldozed in the name of “progress,” i.e., developer Anthony Armstrong’s condominiums.

With Miss Parchester armed, and therefore dangerous, Claire fears this noble act will end tragically. Unfortunately, it does-when someone murders Armstrong. And suddenly Claire herself is out on a limb: a baby has been left on her doorstep, the child’s teenage mom is suspect number one in Armstrong’s death, and Claire needs to find the real killer fast. Especially when she discovers Miss Parchester knows more than she’s willing to tell….

 

Review –

Let’s just say that this was a pleasant read for a cold afternoon when  there was nothing on television and my head hurt and I didn’t want to think too much.   I will be so glad when this headache goes away.

Busy Bodies ( Claire Malloy Mystery #10) by Joan E. Hess

Product Description:

 Leave it to Claire Malloy, owner of the Book Depot in Farberville, to start out having tea with retired schoolteacher Miss Emily Parchester and end up investigating a murder. An avant-garde artist who moved into a house on Willow Street has the whole neighborhood up in arms. His “interactive art,” complete with a nearly nude model and a coffin in the front yard, is attracting a mob of noisy gawkers. Irate residents are worried about declining property values. The local mystery writer cannot meet her deadlines with the constant clatter. And when the artist’s estranged wife rolls up in a limo and announces to one and all that she intends to have him committed to a mental institution, all of Farberville is in a dither. But before the night is out, even stranger things happen: the volatile artist’s house goes up in smoke, a dead body is found inside the coffin, the artist is promptly arrested for murder…and Claire Malloy, devoted amateur sleuth that she is, starts snooping where she doesn’t belong.

Review _

It has been really cold here the last couple of days  and this was the perfect book to curl up with and that’s exactly what I did.  It’s a fast easy read with a twisted murder plot,teen angst,a troubled love relationship and an amateur private detective.  What more could you ask for on a cold winter day.

This was the first time I read anything by Joan E. Hess but I’ve already moved on to  #11 in the Claire Malloy Mystery Series  and the weather is forecast to remain cold so bring me a hot cup of tea and a blanket and I’m set for the night.

 

Devils Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Product Description

These days, everyone in Lake Eden, Minnesota, is buzzing with activity, and Hannah Swensen is no exception. But no matter how busy she may be, Hannah can always find time to help a friend in need – especially when there’s a murder to investigate. A new minister is in town to cover for Reverend Bob Knudson, who’s honeymooning with Hannah’s good friend Claire. But when the replacement is found face down in a plate of devil’s food cake with a bullet in his head, Hannah starts asking questions. She soon discovers that the good Reverend wasn’t quite the saintly fellow he appeared to be. It will take some more digging to find the culprit, but Hannah is sure of one thing: even the most half-baked murder plot can be oh so deadly…
Review –
 
I love this series of books because along with a great and humorous murder mystery, the author provides  20-25 yummy recipes for cakes, cookies and any other food that’s mentioned in the story.
 
I’ve made several of these recipes and wish she (the author) would put together a cook book  so all of the recipes would be in one place. Now, to find a recipe you have to go to the book that mentions that particular item and sometimes  I bring home the wrong book.  But, that’s no great loss, I just make a recipe in that book then go back to the library and check out the correct book.
 
I recommend this series to anyone that like mysteries, humor and baking.  You can’t go wrong.